Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Subject: Unkown Creepy Callapiter
Location: Florida near pensacola, cantonment. But in a country part called Molino
April 20, 2016 5:32 pm
I was sitting with my mother in our barn in cantonment. when I noticed (What i thought was fuz,) until it started moving. I have never seen anything like it, (Nor had my mom,) and i wanted to know more. It had to large thick, black antenaes. And one identical anteanae like tail. Conecting the anteanaes/tail was a black line down the middle, with little yellow hair covering the sides. It had an orange like headband, and two small red dots near its hind end. What was peculiar was the 4 white dots on its back, with a spiky black line coming out of each. Please help. We have many animals around our farm and would really like to know this type of bug, and if it is dangerous. Thankyou.
Signature: Please respond, Aden

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Aden,
This is a Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma, and according to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Avoid handling the caterpillar, as its hair is known to cause allergic reactions, especially in areas of the body with sensitive skin (e.g. back, stomach, inner arms). Seek medical treatment if a severe reaction occurs.”

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