What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillar in Amazon
Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 12:40 PM
Last week of January (rain season), we found this Caterpiller on a tree near a salt water pool in the rainforest of the southern Amazon in Brazil.
The Caterpiller is about 10 cm long. Image 1 shows the full view; image 2 shows the face; image 3 is not the Caterpiller, but a part (flower?) of the tree. It seems the caterpiller is mimicrying.
What, o what kind of caterpiller is this?
Rien Schot
Southern Amazon, Brazil

Automeris species Caterpillar

Automeris species Caterpillar

Hi Rien,
We are posting your image right before leaving for work and haven’t the time to research the species. We are quite certain this is a stinging caterpillar in the genus Automeris, a large genus that includes the North American Io Moth. When we have a chance, we will browse through the World’s Largest Saturniidae Site to see if we can identify the species.

Update:
Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 10:47 AM
Daniel:
What an interesting run of awesome but dangerous stinging caterpillars!  I think you called it right, it is in the genus Automeris (Saturniidae : Hemileucinae). This is a very large New World genus (150 species and subspecies by one count), so making an absolute identification is very difficult. However, based on appearance and distribution I believe it can be narrowed down to A. egeus or A. larra. Of the two, I think A. egeus is the closer match. Regards.
Karl
http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/kwaegeus.htm

Thanks for the assistance Karl.  Once a word or term enters the zeitgeist of the world wide web, search engines latch onto it quite quickly.  A few weeks ago we answered and posted quite a few letters from Namibia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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