Unfortunate meeting with a saddleback caterpillar
Location: Central NJ
August 7, 2011 7:32 pm
I was weeding today and reached around a blue mist shrub and felt a sting in my forearm and found one of these saddlebacks. I only brushed it and the stinging lasted for a couple of hours. Went back to the plant and found 1 more.
Signature: malbug

Stinging Saddleback Caterpillar

Dear malbug,
Though we frequently get identification requests for Saddleback Caterpillars, it is not as frequent that we get a report that someone has been stung.  Saddleback Caterpillars are not aggressive, and they do not actively seek out folks to sting, however, situations like yours are the most frequently reported stinging encounters.  People will often accidentally brush against Saddleback Caterpillar or other stinging species with startlingly painful results.  Other North American stinging caterpillar species include the Asp or Puss Caterpillar, the Monkey Slug, the Tussock Moth Caterpillar, the Buck Moth Caterpillar, and the Io Moth Caterpillar.  You might also be interested in this University of Kentucky Entomology page on Stinging Caterpillars

Location: New Jersey

5 Responses to Stung by Saddleback Caterpillar

  1. Jackbo says:

    Great info site! My husband leaned back in a chair outside this morning and was stung by a saddleback. We put it in a bug jug…didn’t know what it was. He said the sting was worse than a wasp! Thanks for this site–we know what it is now and will avoid it like the plague. It’s alive and I’m turning it loose far from the house!

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for sending your personal account as a comment. Some people might have severe allergic reactions since modern medical science seems to be revealing more and more allergies to an ever increasing number of things in select individuals.

  2. Angelique says:

    I was trimming some shrubs and got stung in my finger. Hurts a lot and felt a numbing affect at the end of my finger. Poured some Ammonia on it and then washed my hand thoroughly. Found this bug and did not know what it was. NEVER saw one of these before. The sting was 30 minutes ago and it still hurts.

  3. Rick Monroe says:

    My 34 year old daughter just got stung by one on my front porch. Set her hand down on it on the porch rail without looking . She is allergic to wasp and bee stings so we are waiting to see if she has any reaction. Prepared to head to doctor if needed. I am 69 years old, always outside and have never seen one of these.

  4. Tony S. says:

    Got stung by 2 at once a few moments ago when my shoulder brushed against an oak leaf. Needless to say, I never want to get stung again. Hot needle sensation. PAINFUL! My wife got stung 2 years ago. Now I know why she pitched such a fit.

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