Currently viewing the category: "Stinging Slug Caterpillars"
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Another Stinging Rose Caterpillar
This beauty was seen at Mammoth Cave National Park in KY this past weekend. My 12 year old son, a true entomologist, found it and stumped the rangers when he asked them to help identify it. We found your website when we got home and then followed the link from the other picture of the same caterpillar. Very neat little critter. We had him on the lid of a clear plastic container for a while and could watch the way his legs moved, which is unlike any other caterpillar we had ever seen! More like a slug than a caterpillar! Thank you for helping us to identify him. We have bookmarked your site for future use!
Cindy (mom) and Eddie (son)
Dry Ridge KY

Hi Cindy and Eddie,
We are thrilled you were able to identify this lovely specimen of the Stinging Rose Caterpillar, Parasa indetermina, because of our site.

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Bright yellow with spines
Hi!
I was standing next to my rose bush and I thought my Blue Girl should not have yellow flowers. So when I looked a little closer I found this creature. It was attached to the rose leaf like a slug but it was colored very beautiful. Any idea what this is or what it will be? I live in Alpena, Arkansas. It is in the Northwest part of the state.
Thanks,
Angie

Hi Angie,
We were sure this was a Slug Caterpillar, but not sure of the species. That is why we wrote back for your location. Then a web search led ut to a University of Arkansas site that identified your Stinging Rose Caterpillar, Parasa indetermina. The site we mentioned has images of the adult moth as well. The caterpillar on that site has a red background color your specimen lacks. The yellow version is more common.

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What is this?
Dear Bug experts,
I just got stung while taking a photo of this. What is it and should I be worried?
Thanks!
Anne Cracraft
Knoxville, TN

Hi Anne,
Fear not. You will live. The sting of the Saddleback Caterpillar is only a mild skin irritant. Had you scrolled down our homepage, you could have identified it for yourself. We will now replace that photo with yours.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

saddleback vs. inchworm
What a fantastic site you have! Love all of the photos. I have a bug behavior question for you and possibly a photo for your carnage page. Several days ago I found a saddleback caterpillar in my yard and put it (along with the weed it was on) into my 5 yr old’s bug house for observation. A few days later my friend brought over some basil from her yard and it had an inchworm on it, so feeling lucky to have a bug house in my kitchen, I put the worm and some of the basil in there with the saddleback. Things seemed fine for several days, then 2 days ago, I noticed that the saddleback was doing laps around and stinging the inchworm. Yesterday my 5 year old pointed out the fact the inchworm is now covered in a web-like pillow of some sort and is apparently dead. What did the saddleback do to the inchworm? Why? Can a saddleback produce a web-like substance? Also, how long before the saddleback metamorphasizes?
Donie
Birmingham, Alabama

Hi Donie,
We find the behavior you describe utterly fantastic, and have no explanation. However, we feel you may have misinterpreted the situation. The inchworm you write about appears to be an Omniverous Green Looper, and it also appears to be in the pupal stage. We believe the caterpillar just pupated on its own, without any help from the Saddleback Caterpillar. Most caterpillars can spin silk. We are going to post your Saddleback Caterpillar, Sibine stimulea. The spines on this caterpillar are mildly poisonous and will sting.

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Bug ID Help? Never mind.
My father just got bit by this strange bug on his forehead. This is a photo of the bottom of the bug. What is it? Should he seek medical attention? The bite is red and appears to be sweating just at the bite… otherwise he feels fine.
Thanks,
James in Cape Coral, Florida
I just sent you the email and forgto to attahed the photo. After looking through you wonderful website we found the Saddleback Caterpillar, Sibine stimulea.
Thank you,
James

Hi James,
Sorry for the delay, but our mailbox is brimming with queries. Glad you found out that your Saddleback Caterpillar, Sibine stimulea, isn’t deadly, just irritating. It doesn’t bite though, it has stinging spines.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello Bugman,
My wife found this really awesome caterpillar a few days ago on her Gerber Daisies. I have been looking all over the Internet trying to identify it, when I stumbled across you site. It looks like someone has asked you about a particular “Saddleback Caterpillar”, and that seems to fit the description of the picture I’m sending you now. Is that what this is? Thanks for your help!
Gray Benton
Iron Station, North Carolina

Hi Gray,
Yes, indeed, you have a Saddleback Caterpillar, Sibine stimulea. Beware those poisonous spines. They can cause quite a bit or irritation. Holland writes: “Nettles are not to be compared in stinging power to the armament of this beautifully colored larva.” Thanks for the photo and I’m so glad our site was helpful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination