Advertisement

Photo: Watch this killer caterpillar flaunt its cute deadly tufts

30 of 1289

Our photo of the day includes a video of this lethal larvae in the Amazon rainforest.

It's kind of funny that caterpillars are so cute and charming; images of them adorn baby clothes and star in children's books ... yet some of them are downright deadly!

Exhibit A (above): Lonomia obliqua AKA the giant silkworm moth.

In this photo taken by Andreas Kay in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, we see a classic example of this spiny creature, a species of Saturniid moth from South America. Kay explains that the moth is most famous for its larval form because of the caterpillar's defense mechanism: Articulating bristles that inject a potentially deadly venom.

Apparently, the venom really does kill people. Yikes. Kay adds, "Exposure to the caterpillar's fur-like spines will lead to an immediate skin irritation characterized by a grid-like hemorrhagic papular eruption with severe radiating pain. The caterpillar is one bad insect you don’t want to mess with!"

And you can see it in action below. (Now ... what's the word for fear of caterpillars?)

Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group.

30 of 1289

More Slideshows