Subject: Hairy green caterpillar in Belize
Location: Cayo, Belize
March 3, 2017 2:52 pm
Found this walking “train” of caterpillars today in Cayo, by the Mopan River in Belize. There were like 35 of them, coming down from a tree, each about 5 cm long. The green hair is toxic, got itchy and painful little bumps when I held one.
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the genus Automeris, or a closely related genus. It might be Automeris metzli which is pictured on the Kirby Wolfe Collection, but we are not certain. We will contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide a species identification. He may request permission to post your images to his comprehensive site as well and we hope you will grant permission. The procession image is especially interesting.
Oh WOW! this is an amazing moth! Thank you very much for responding. Of course you have permission to post the images- I could not find a similar caterpillar on google just searching for green hairy caterpillar Belize…but I came across your wonderful site and actually identified another bug there (fig sphinx caterpillar). There is so many interesting insects here, but caterpillars specially are catching my attention as they transform to something completely different. Thank you very much again!