What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

amazon caterpillar
I stumbled on your web site while trying to find this caterpillar. It was in a jungle village in Northern Brazil, I took it for a venomous species and the locals said it can even be deadly (but they sometimes have exaggerated notions about the local fauna). Can you identify it and tell me anthing about it? Thank you,
Brent Gregory
Castanhal, Pará, Brasil

Hi Brent,
We don’t know what species this Caterpillar is, but we do know that similar looking caterpillars often have poison spines. They aren’t deadly, but can cause a painful or irritating sting. It is a gorgeous specimen and we hope someone can identify it.

Update (06/19/2006)
Hi folks,
Though I too don’t know what this caterpillar is, I thought I’d add that yeah, some caterpillars are deadly to the touch. Kirby Wolfe’s excellent website [amazing images of Saturnids worldwide!] includes Lonomia achelous, which is both camouflaged and lethal. Have a look at http://www.insectcompany.com/silkmoth/kwlachelous.htm. The caterpillar of Another genus, Dirphia, supposedly, can drive the victim mad with pain; I know that that sounds like comic-book talk, but there might be something to it. I learned about it on this forum thread http://www.insectnet.com/dcforum/DCForumID1/717.html and they referred to these images of Dirpia: http://janzen.sas.upenn.edu/caterpillars/dblinks/cklistcat.lasso?herbsp=Dirphia
David Gracer

Thanks for the fascinating information David.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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