Monday, August 3, 2009

Fuzzy White & Black Spotted Caterpillar

Isn't someone just absolutely fabulous darling, and decked out to the 9's in white as snow fur and black as night spots! This caterpillar is pretty freakin' tiny, but I could hardly miss it's bright fuzzy explosion, bounding along like it was working for the man in NYC midtown.
I wasn't sure if it would sting, being so spiky and on the verge of looking (gorgeous yet) dangerous so I just didn't touch it - but I did watch it crawl around on a little patch of chickweed I held in my hand.
Anyone know what kind of flying creature (butterfly or moth) this fuzz muffin is going to become next?
XoXo

34 comments:

linda said...

I love how it looks like a lot of scary faces from above! Who'd want to attack and risk that?

Leslie @ the oko box said...

not me! It totally has that so beautiful it's poisonous look.

Anonymous said...

I've been seeing a lot of these the past few weeks in our yard in upstate New York. I just did a google search and found that it's the caterpillar of the hickory tussock moth. They're very pretty but from what I just read, they sting and cause a very itchy rash, so look but don't touch.

Leslie @ the oko box said...

A-
thanks for the info- we have some really pretty hickory trees here so that must be where they are coming from! It's tempting to touch them because they are so fury and pretty but I could tell it was something with a sting. Good to know for sure.
Thanks Xo

Susan said...

Definately DON'T touch these cute caterpillars! Last evening- my 6 year old son held one for a few minutes- and then touched his neck. Within seconds he was franticly running into the house with pain and itching all over his neck! Red welts and bumps appeared almost instantly. After a bath/shower-and some benedril- his neck was swollen-and spotted. I took him to urgent care, where they gave me steroid cream and zyrtec. I expalined how I had already looked up this Hickory tussock moth- and knew that it was venomous(for lack of a better word). The tiny hairs imbed themselves into the skin- then break off at skin level like glass shards. This was news to the Doc-as she had never heard of this poisonious caterpillar in NYS. I have a feeling that wont be the case for long. They are REALLY cute- and hard to resist for young children. These can be EXTREMLY dangerous if one of the hairs get into the eye. Today my son's neck is not as swollen- but it looks terrible- as it is COVERED in dark, bruise-like spots.

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old was playing with one today and has been yelling that her hands are itching and burning. Not sure what to do??? any ideas????

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

poison control, doctor, and agricultural department and find out what is best to do. In the mean time find something soothing to apply like a anti-itch cream, oil, or even an ice pack for swelling.

For most injuries and burning the herbs comfrey, plantain, or tobacco can soothe a sting. I also try soaking the irritated spot in salt water, which pulls out infection.

Autumn said...

Im 8 years old,and my 6 year old cousin found one of these caterpillars in our friend's driveway.We picked it up and petted it and everything,so i don't think its pretty poisonious.Its actually kinda cute!

Autumn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Autumn said...

What do these type of caterpillars eat?

Anonymous said...

My 3 yr old daughter calls them "hurty caterpillars". She found one and was playing with it, 5 minutes later she came running in the house screaming in pain. It had shot out all its beautiful hairs all over her arms and stomach. She had a rash for a month from it.

Anonymous said...

i wish i new all this before. im 13 and ready to go on a fishing trip down the road from our campground. i see it on my leg and flick it. the itching happend the next day where i probably was washing my hands and it spread to the other hand. and if u must know it spread to the family jewels. now i have it everywhere. i have to take an oatmeal bath everyday. its sucks and fyi DO NOT TOUCH IT!!! this is my 4th day of hell and itching. u dont want to mess with this poisonous insect.

Feather Lynne said...

There is one right now on my front door. It's soo adorable. I'm so glad I didn't try to pick it up though, I was about to move it somewhere safer.

Lynne said...

Oh mt gosh.....DO NOT touch these cute fuzzy creatures!!!! I was visiting mymom and walked into a bunch of them as tehy were hanging from the trees, now I look like i have been beated by my spouse or something. Both of my arms are ugly, tnay have welts all over them and bruise like dots on them. I try not to wear short sleeve as my arms look very bad, and I will be seeking medical treatment tomorrow and this all took place last week. These creatures also form blisters on the welts........Again DO NOT TOUCH these

jess said...

My 4 year old has been capturing these and keeping them in cups. He started a rash 2 nights ago but last night around 9 i noticed it had spread a lot. I was on my way to the er when a friend posted about these on fb. I showed the Dr the post (or at least tried to) but he just said there is no antidote for caterpillars and just keep using the Benadryl. The rash looks a little better today but his skin is all flaky around the affected areas. He did not get a rash on his hands where he actually touched it but he did get it everywheres else.

jmaineh said...

I had a blast holding one of these cuties for at LEAST an hour yesterday. I googled a description out if curiosity for more info. I just couldn't get over how active it was and he had a little personality too! He would book it from my finger up my arm, walk onto my other hand etc. at a record pace but stopping for a few seconds to literally stand upright and look around every once in a while. I eventually put him on a leaf and watched him nibble away. No rash, no bite, just soft and sweet!

Anonymous said...

so are these catapillers posionis?

Anonymous said...

if this catapiller bit me and i just put inchin cream on it and didnt go for help. what could it do to me ?could it kill me? and is this catapiller found near toronto kitchener area im in ontario and need infomation

Anonymous said...

they are not poisenous,what the people who are touching them are having is an allergic reaction. You can check it out on www.snopes.com orhttp://www.wktv.com/news/local/Officials-black-and-white-caterpillars-are-not-poisonous-127304863.html Don't give the bugs a bad name! They are new to the area so just look at them

Anonymous said...

its so cool i picked it up it does no harm

Anonymous said...

My son brought home one of these, and like jmaineh said, MAN was it active. We called him Scooter as he was moving about everywhere.

He made a cocoon and now has turned into a moth, although the timing is off because he was in a warm house. Is it true he doesn't eat anything? How long to they live in their adult stage?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and after reading all this, I am VERY glad we had no reaction... we had Scooter climbing everywhere on us. Maybe because he was covered in red berry juices from my son's bucket?

Anonymous said...

Wash them right away!

Anonymous said...

I have taken care of these and sucsessfully let them go as moths ( I'm only 11).The reason it makes you itch is because of the hair on it. You can let it climb on you just stay away from those hairs on it's back and you'll be fine.
Most caterpillars eat leaves... I am now trying an experiment to see what kind of leaves this kind of caterpillar eats. My nephew and niece found a whole bunch of these and they look to be 3 days old. There is problubly 20 of them altogether.
One last thing... what are they called?

Anonymous said...

one morning i found a caterpillar on a friends doorstep it was sooooo cute that we had to pick it up and name it oreo not knowing it was poisonous we brought it in kholes we had to be careful so people wouldnt see what we had. we dashed out of kholes and to my house we put oreo in a jar after holding him for an hour strait. we looked him up and we were freaking out beacaus of all the bad reports. its been 3 days since him and we are totally fine.so be careful with those cute little killers.

Anonymous said...

ps were 10

Anonymous said...

one day my sister had found one
on a friend's doorstep she brout it
in the car she named it oreo after touching it my sister her friend and I looked it up and after reading all the revews
we jumped in a pool chlorine will
kill anything !its been a couple of days since we found it and so far nothing has happened to us

Anonymous said...

THESE GUYS ARE NOT POISONOUS! Everyone is saying that they are, but they really aren't. They are just extremely allergenic to some people. I have held some Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillars and none of them gave me any kind of rash, irritation to the skin, or anything. The people who have gotten the things mentioned above obviously are allergic to these caterpillars and should stay away from them, but some people aren't. Just remember that all you people out there giving these cute little guys a bad reputation.

Anonymous said...

I see that most of you live up north. New York ect. I live in north Carolina and the are everywhere around my house. Iv never seen one until this summer and iv lived here for 28 years. I don't know where they came from.

Frances said...

I found one today on my sunflowers near Syracuse, NY. Felt a little guilty flicking it off so I came in to look it up. I lived in FL for 25 years and always protected the caterpillars I had around that house because they morphed into thousands of beautiful butterflies. I was hoping this would be the same thing but I guess NOT!!

adarc said...

You shouldn't pick them up anyway, it is bad for the caterpillar. Human have oils & acids on their skin than can literally burn through some caterpillars skin. Watch them, but don't touch them.

adarc said...

The reason they are so active and climbing everywhere is because they need to eat constantly. They cannot go a whole day without food without it permanentlyy affecting their digestion. the eat hickory l oak, elm, walnut & willow leaves, so if you MUST bring one home, at least make sure you are providing it with plenty of of the right food.

Elyse Ayers said...

i live in NC and they are EVERYWHERE i have a red picnic table, and theres at least 100 of them there maybe 50. I saw about 5 attacking a beatle, and yesturday i saw some cattle ants eating one alive! are they poision? i think they are and i have been stepping on them and i dont know. some people say that some people are just allergic. idk is there any way to tell if you are? im not sure and dont want to take the risk

Breahana said...

I just found one today all the way in Port Clinton, OH!! at the african safari wildlife park...
i did hold it for a few minutes so hopefully i have no allergic reaction