The truth is out there – 07.05.10
May 6, 2010
Greetings once again from sunny Phuket.
How are you ?
Some staff of mine have run into this curious little oddity and asked me if I could assist in identifying it.
To me it’s clearly alien – possibly from alpha centuri or the crab-stick nebula. Its no surprise that a week after Stephen Hawkins informs us that aliens are amongst us that we find him (her, it or them).
What do you think ?
With kind regards,
Hi Again Mark,
How is the Atlas Moth population doing? We presume this is a caterpillar, but that is just a guess. It surely is a strange looking creature. We haven’t the time to research this at the moment, but we hope our readership will kick in and assist.
Thanks for your quick reply.
Atlas moths have been quiet of late – lets see if they come by later in the year.
Have had a few snake cases recently. One was a Bungarus Kraits which I had to encourage gently with a house broom into a bucket before throwing her over the wall. Give me caterpillars any day !! Also one case of a 2.5 metre King Cobra that was dispatched with a single shot by one of our Security Supervisors using a home made catapult and glass marble – one shot, one metre away straight in the centre of his head. Turns out he used to be Thai Special Forces. Not my preferred method but the on-site team had to act fast as we have families and kids present.
Fingers crossed your readers will be able to assist.
With kind regards,
Karl provides a Family
May 20, 2010
Hi Daniel and Mark:
Judging by the number of people who liked this post there seems to be considerable interest in this strange and lovely creature, so it would be a shame if it goes unidentified. I have to believe that it is a slug caterpillar, a moth in the family Limacodidae. The slug-like appearance and the fact that the head is invisibly tucked under the first thoracic segment are characteristic of Limacodid caterpillars. It’s one of my favorite insect families because of the amazing and beautiful diversity of their caterpillars, but also because of their nasty reputation for inflicting painful and sometimes dangerous stings when touched. Not all are dangerous but certainly many are (the danger is in the small stinging hairs on their bodies). In Asia they are often referred to as Nettle Grubs. It is a very large and globally distributed family, but unfortunately they are often difficult to identify because of the general lack of information, particularly in the case of tropical species. The “Thailand Nature Explorer” site (Siamensis.org) has posted a nearly identical photo of a Phuket caterpillar (scroll down to Answer #14) that is tagged as a Limacodidae (Answer #30). You can hit the ‘Translate’ button at the top of the page, or if you can read Thai you may get better information than I was able to get from the dubious translation. I wish I could have found a better answer but this one will probably require an expert. Regards. Karl
We had faith that you might eventually come through on this one. Mark may be able to get the locals to translate the Thai, or I may walk up the hill to talk to my neighbor about the information.
Correction: June 6, 2014
Thanks to a comment from Erwin, we now know that this is a Leaf Skeletonizer Moth Caterpillar.