Subject: Belizean coffee caterpillar
Location: Toledo District, Belize
August 14, 2014 7:08 pm
This was climbing on a coffee bush in coastal southern Belize. What is it and what does it turn into? It was only about an inch long.
This is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae. Many species in this family will deliver a very painful sting that sometimes also produces an allergic reaction if they are carelessly handled or accidentally brushed against. We have not been successful in locating a matching image, so the best we can do at this time is to provide the family.
Many thanks for this very speedy response. We have seen quite a number of different stinging caterpillars here over the years, but never this one. Not only can one be stung by spiny caterpillars, but also by brushing against the cocoons which also have stinging hairs. No one has had an allergic reaction (thank goodness), but it’s good to be aware that it can happen.