Friday, September 14, 2012

Look But Don’t Touch

I saw this cute little caterpillar in our dooryard this afternoon. I snapped a couple of photographs and decided to look it up to see if I could identify it. I’m so glad I didn’t touch it. It’s a Hickory Tussock Caterpillar (Lophocampa caryae). It is not poisonous. But some people who come in contact with the caterpillar - or even its hairs left behind in fallen leaves - can develop a mild to severe rash, similar to poison ivy. Proving once again, you can’t judge a book - er - bug by its cover or something like that!

Here’s some additional information.


Roo said...

Oh, my sister Angela brought one of these things (or similar)home one day, full of wonder and awe.. she blew up like a balloon!

Good job I was a nice little brother and didn't torment the hell out of her.... no seriously, I didn't ( but that may have more to do with the quiet word mum had with me,.. just in case) ;o)

Pink Granite said...

Poor Angela!
But good you - at least that time... ;o)
Now you folks in the UK have the Oak Processionary caterpillar (Thaumetopoea processionea) - yikes!
- Lee

Sue said...

Wow, it's so pretty, hard to imagine it can be so nasty... We have little brown ones that shoot spikes this side, but not sure about any form of rash.

Sue X

Pink Granite said...

Hi Sue -
This one is so cute and bright. It's a recent addition to our area and now I'm seeing them all over.