Subject: Fern-Looking Green Caterpillar in Thailand
Location: Chon Buri, Thailand
January 30, 2013 7:27 am
It’s Teacher Becky again from Chon Buri, Thailand. This little critter was found on my gate two days ago (you’ll see the padlock to give you a size reference). After posting to my first grade class Facebook page – it seems many Thai people haven’t seen before either. As a community of learners, we’d really like to know so we can do further research in our class. Thank you!
Signature: Teacher Becky
Dear Teacher Becky,
We are happy you came back to us with another question. Believe it or not, this is a Caterpillar. More specifically, it is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae. Some members of this family produce a nasty skin reaction if they are accidentally encountered, so they should be handled with caution, or better yet, not handled at all. We have not been able to determine a species for you, however, we did locate a matching image on the Photography Thailand Forum which we now believe is incorrect.
Ed. Note: Because we have been fooled in the past, we are checking with Keith Wolfe if this might be a relative of the Archduke which we posted in the past. It seems to be a perfect match to the Common Baron Caterpillar, Euthalia aconthea. That is supported with the information on the ButterflyCircle Checklist website which states: “The caterpillar is green with a yellow dorsal stripe. Its unique appearance makes it appear like a walking TV antenna with its branched spines and processes extending way beyond the caterpillar’s body.”
Wow – just so fascinating And shame on me for forgetting some important details – such as I have a gigantic mango tree in my front yard.
This is a great experience for my little Thai first graders to practice their identification skills. Thanks for the quick response!
Keith Wolfe confirms Baron identification
Daniel, yes, this immature butterfly is certainly one of Thailand’s many species of Barons (Euthalia).