Stinging Silkmoth Caterpillar from Panama: Automeris metzli

Panama Caterpillar ID
Location: Panama – Comarca Ngabe-Bugle area
August 2, 2011 9:50 pm
Hi. Was visitng niece in Panama recently and found this caterpillar in her house (thatched hut). She discovered it when she inadvertently brushed it with her hand and ended up with several hairy pines left behind. Beautiful caterpillar but is it poisonous?
Signature: Nancy

Automeris metzli Caterpillar

Hi Nancy,
We recognized your caterpillar as one of the stinging larvae in the genus
Automeris, a group that includes the North American Io Moth, and we discovered on the private website, the World’s Largest Saturniidae Site, that is is Automeris metzli.  We then found a matching photo on this unusual website.  We advise folks to turn down the volume before clicking the link.  The Bug Paradise gallery has images of the adult and caterpillar.  Caterpillars in this genus have stinging spines and they should be handled with caution.

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