Sep 13, 2008

Caterpillars of Death

As I've said before, my wife abominates all things wormy. That includes caterpillars. Our new house's lawn is infested with caterpillars, and they tend to undulate their way into the house, resulting in daily pleas to have me scoop them up. After reading on these caterpillars, I see that my lawn larvae have nothing on these caterpillars of death.

You're looking at a variety of Ionomia moth caterpillars. All are spikey, and none are benign. Quite the opposite. Though the moth is harmless, the bristles on the larvae are lethal. Dozens of people in Brazil die just by touching them. Why? The toxin in the bristles is a powerful anti-coagulant, causing the blood to break down inside the dying victim. Lovely.

Thanks for the Dark Roasted Blend article, Ida.

Photo credit: 1) Anuska Nardelli 2) Diego Gonçalves 3) Ronai Rocha

7 comments:

dave said...

Very cool.

niner said...

Wow they are very pretty. I like the last one. Reminds me of a red Jelly Belly with snowflakes. It would suck if you accidentally stepped on one though.

meg said...

You know, anything that LOOKS like that, I wouldn't touch on purpose, for sure. The thorns are effective against me. : |

Jenn said...

Really that toxic? Ouch!

JAS said...

Oh. My. God. I looked up more info on these and they're native to exactly the area in Brazil where my husband grew up.

*gag*

Can you imagine one of these crawling into, say, your luggage?

Honey, about that trip to Brazil? Ain't gonna happen...

linty said...

I like the ring of "killer caterpillar" it just rolls off the tongue.

Jack Ruttan said...

Get a whole bunch on a tree and you've got living X-mas decorations.