Spotted Tussock

This caterpillar is wandering our yard. He’s pretty quick too – for a caterpillar. The Big Guy picked him up when he saw him. He’s bolder than me. I’ve always heard caterpillars can sting, so I leave them be where I find them.



Filed under insect

12 responses to “Spotted Tussock

  1. Nice photo. Stinging caterpillars. Perhaps some do.

  2. Nada

    My cousin is here now and she was told the same thing – that some of them sting. But I’m thinking now that may be some old wives’ tale that gets spread around in the South.

  3. We used to keep caterpillars as pets when we were kids. They never stung us but they always died! Better not to fool with them.

    • Nada

      Those durn things are all over the apple tree. They’re rampant. I don’t know what to do about them. They are munching leaves.

  4. Ask the landlord. You’ve got to stop them before they ruin the tree! There’s got to be a gentle way to get rid of them. I use soapy water and lady bugs on aphids…What’s the equivalent for caterpillars? Birds?

  5. AZ

    “Caterpillars or larvae of certain moths possess stinging hairs. These sharp hairs or spines are either hollow, connected to poison glands (venom flows on contact), or similar to glass fibers (hairs break off in skin easily) sometimes causing pain like a needle prick. Depending on the individual, reaction to the sting ranges from mild, with local reddening, swelling, burning and itching to severe pain. Hypersensitive persons may experience severe swelling, nausea and generalized systemic reactions, occasionally requiring hospital treatment. In severe cases, entrance of hairs into the eye can cause blindness.”

    I looked it up 🙂

    • Nada

      That is a sobering paragraph. I ain’t messing with those spotted tussocks. They can have the damn apples, the leaves, the tree, our car…whatever they want.

  6. AZ

    To add more danger to our existence there are also wingless wasps, usually called velvet ants, they sting too! They have long fuzz covering their bodies because they nest underground and the fuzz protects them in case of cave ins, the fuzz holds the dirt away from their bodies so they can wiggle their way out of fallen dirt. Velvet ants are females, the males have wings.

    • Nada

      Nasty critters. I’m constantly getting stung by wasps. I don’t need any wingless wasps to take up where they’re winged brothers have left off.

      When I first moved to Arizona I was out in the yard shoveling some dirt around, and of course there was some ants. I didn’t think much of anything about it because…well…we have ants in TN, until they started biting me, and it was like a bee sting. All ants are not created equal.

      I’m not a big fan of the biting, stinging insects.

  7. Greg

    It looks like a fishing lure.


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