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don't touch this catapiller

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don't touch this catapiller

Post  walshevak on 9/8/2014, 12:03 pm

Saw this and thought I'd pass it on.

http://www.myfoxla.com/story/26437401/florida-scientists-dont-touch-this-bug


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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  sanderson on 9/8/2014, 12:36 pm

It's so cute and furry that it would be hard to resist touching (if you weren't aware of the danger).

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  Judy McConnell on 9/8/2014, 12:52 pm

Ah a puss caterpillar!!  They hurt like the devil - a dumb younger person picked one up - arrgggh

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/8/2014, 3:55 pm

"Doctors from the University of Florida say the second you touch this caterpillar you feel instant, intense pain.

The pain is worse than a bee, jellyfish, or scorpion, and it can also cause vomiting and convulsions.

Doctors say be aware of them while working outdoors because they are known to fall out of trees."

Holy cow that sounds nasty. Reminds me of reading about the processionary caterpillar http://web.cortland.edu/fitzgerald/pineprocessionary.html

I think I saw a show segment about them too, and it got much more into how dire a threat they are.

and one down in South America with very toxic spines.

I tend to think of caterpillars as such harmless (to people anyway) pushovers, but there are a few extremely nasty ones.

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/8/2014, 8:20 pm

Good to know!

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  TCgardening on 9/8/2014, 8:47 pm

There are a number of stinging caterpillars in Fla. Camping at Lake Kissimmee State Park in April two years ago the White Tussock caterpillars were everywhere. They would drop from the oak hammock then climb up everything.
I didn't get stung but a bunch of folks did. They are there in late April to early Mat so I will plan my next trip accordingly.
The Saddleback or Oleander Caterpillar is wicked too!  The sting is like pouring acid on your skin.

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/8/2014, 10:24 pm

Well I sure hope winters kill them off, because I don't want to see any of them around here.

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  sanderson on 9/10/2014, 12:30 am

Marc, I don't think there are any stinging caterpillars out West. Seems to be limited to southern/warmer climates.

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/10/2014, 1:02 am

Let's hope it stays that way. I was reading something on pine processionary caterpillars that said they are native to the Mediterranean and North Africa, but they've now been found as far north as Sweden. That's happening with a lot of species recently, as lands and oceans warm.

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/10/2014, 11:02 am

Sometimes species migrate because of habitat change, such as deforestation, development, or population growth.

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 9/13/2014, 1:27 pm

Wow. Thanks for putting this up. Although I'm in GA, it's not far.
Odd looking and kind of fish shaped.
I have never been stung by a catepiller in my life, until 3 days ago.
He was hanging out in the Canna and got me when I was removing some dead flowers.
It burned intensely like a Scorpion. Tiny little thing, too.
I have a new respect for them now.

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Re: don't touch this catapiller

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 9/14/2014, 9:05 am

It was a saddleback that got me from underneath the leaves.
http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/saddleback-caterpillar/index.html

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