Monday, September 07, 2009

Hide and Seek... a game you should never play with Io moth caterpillars. I had read that their spines can sting you, and that it can in fact be very painful.

I won't show you the picture of my leg, but let's just say indeed, they can sting, and indeed, it is painful! I couldn't find them on the privet this morning, and guessed they must have crawled away to something with sweeter leaves. Io moth caterpillars typically stay together throughout their life cycle, marching in long lines when they travel and clustering on branches when they find a place to stop and eat.

Turns out our caterpillars had found a lower branch on the regular hedges in front of the house, fairly near their first feast. I went back to look one more time this afternoon, and didn't see them, but I sure did feel them when my leg brushed up against the branch. Ouch! The welts on my leg look like wasp stings!

I though we had a relationship, but apparently not. Still, I do think they are lovely, and I hope they'll be around for a little while longer. I'll be much more careful when I go to look for them, though!


Julie Nolte Owen said...

Oh my! So sorry for the ouchies. Nature can be painful sometimes!

Mom said...

Do you remember the caterpillars crawling all over you as you squealed with glee in Mamama's driveway :-)

Jen said...

Much friendlier than these! These are so beautiful, though!