Barbaroja caterpiller, striped, hisses.
Location:  El Salvador, near Chalate.
September 8, 2010 4:47 pm
This is my link to the photo, I am El Salvador, near Chalate, this is a caterpillar that hisses and they call it Barbaroja, I am searching the internet for it´s real name, please can you identify this for me. I am sorry I can´t post the real photo. I am in a public computer. I am linking you to my blog.
Signature:  Monica

Pachylia syces syces Caterpillar

Dear Monica,
Your photo is of terribly low resolution and it is blurry, an at first we thought this might be the caterpillar of a Tetrio Sphinx, but we have found a match to
Pachylia syces syces on Bill Oehlke’s website which states:  “In the early instars, larvae greatly resemble Pseudosphinx tetrio or a coral snake. They thrash about when disturbed and also ‘squeak’.”    Bill also writes:  “Larvae are reported to feed on Ficus microcarpa, Ficus prinoides, Ficus ovalis and Artocarpus integrifolia in Brazil.”  We can assure you that your neighbor Celina is misinformed.  You credit her with the following flight of fancy on your blog:  “She saw it and gasped. ‘Se pica! Matalo. Matalo!’  She picked up a rock from the back and smashed it.  The name of this insect is  Barba Roja translates to Red beard? How it stings is it opens its mouth and sticks out its tongue and bites you. The tongue is what pinches you. The venom makes the wound swell up and it will hurt for days. It is worse than getting bitten by a scorpion around here. She was bitten by Barbararoja when she was cutting weeds with her machete.”  There are many caterpillars that sting, but those in the family Sphingidae are not among them.

Thank you. I will correct the info on my blog. I am glad I wrote to you. Everyone has a different story about the Pachylia syces. It did thrash around, and squeaks. Celina told me there are two types, one that doesn´t sting and the other that does. And the way she described how it stings creeped me out. But according to Bill Oehlke´s website it doesn´t seem to sting, I will read it again.But yes that is the caterpillar. Sorry about the poor resolution. -Monica

Location: El Salvador

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