Painful Caterpillars

buck moth caterpillar

Watch out for the spines of the Buck Moth Caterpillar

Ouch! You can get stung by a caterpillar.

Caterpillars are not always cute and fuzzy; they can also be very painful. Although interesting to look at, some varieties of caterpillars are best avoided. Someone in my family learned this lesson in a very personal way this week.

Matt was standing in his driveway talking to a repairman when he got “stung” by a caterpillar. Not a bee, not a wasp — he got stung by a caterpillar! He’s not sure how the creature got on his leg; he just felt the pain and there it was. He’s pretty certain the culprit is a buck moth caterpillar. These caterpillars thrive in areas with oak trees. They have spines to ward off predators and the spines can hurt humans! It can take up to 10 days for the sting’s effects to clear up.

The next time you encounter a caterpillar with spines, it makes sense to avoid contact with it if possible. …you never know if the caterpillar will think YOU are a predator.

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7 responses to “Painful Caterpillars

  1. OUCH!! I have never heard of or seen a spiny caterpillar. I am pretty sure Matt wishes the same. Was the caterpillar hard to get off the body, once attached to the body?

  2. Interesting! I haven’t run across one of those.

  3. They have to have some way to protect themselves! lol

  4. Thanks for the post and the warning. I saw a similar-looking caterpillar a few days ago and was surprised at how fast it moved.

  5. Yeah, I guess its part of their protection mehcanism an dprobably saves them from being picked by birds or other reptilia. Also, the other thing I have noticed is, these freaky ones grow into some of the most beautiful butterflies and moths. ( example , stinging rose moth or even the Lo moth ).

    Environmental Grafitti has compiled 10 such beaituful but dangerous caterpillers here : http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/nature/news-ten-creepy-and-colorful-caterpillar-hazardous-human-health

    ( @PS: I know, they are so beautiful, I had Spiny oak as my wallpaper for months )

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