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Nature & Environment

Virginia invaded by venomous hairy caterpillars

By T.K. Randall
October 9, 2020 · Comment icon 8 comments

This is one weird looking insect. Image Credit: Facebook / Virginia Department of Forestry
Authorities have warned residents to steer clear of the pests which have shown up in the east of the state.
At a glance this bizarre looking creature, which resembles a walking toupee, might seem harmless enough, but underneath its 'cute' veneer lies a rather nasty surprise.

The hairs, it turns out, are in fact venomous spines that can give a very nasty sting.

"VDOF's forest health team has received reports of the puss caterpillar in a few eastern Virginia counties," the Virginia Department of Forestry wrote on Facebook.
"The 'hairs' of this caterpillar are actually venomous spines that cause a painful reaction if touched."

"The caterpillars eat oak and elm leaves, but they can be found in parks or near structures. If you find the caterpillar, leave it alone and let its natural enemies control their populations - there are a number of other insects that will prey on them at different stages of their life cycle."

Source: CBS News | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
A big pile of them resolves bigfoot sightings !
Comment icon #2 Posted by Chronus 4 years ago
Are you talking about this?  
Comment icon #3 Posted by tortugabob 4 years ago
In Florida we called them wolves.  I got stung once.  It really hurts.  Much worse than a wasp sting.
Comment icon #4 Posted by jethrofloyd 4 years ago
Yeah, and a large family of otters resolves Loch Ness monster sightings!
Comment icon #5 Posted by and then 4 years ago
Well, that explains a lot about the idiocy going on in that state.  I'll admit, I thought the responsibility was all on the Democrats  
Comment icon #6 Posted by Big Jim 4 years ago
Can we just tear this year off the calendar and start over?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Myles 4 years ago
I think I would step on any I see.   The southern flannel moth was originally described by J. E. Smith (1797) and named Phalaena opercularis (common name, waved yellow egger moth). For a historical account of the southern flannel moth’s taxonomy see Heppner (2003). In addition to the name “puss caterpillar”, its caterpillar has been called “Italian asp,” “possum bug,” “perrito” (Spanish for puppy or little dog) (Bishopp 1923), and “woolly slug” (El-Mallakh et al. 1986). The southern flannel moth is the mos... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by TripGun 4 years ago
Thanks Obama

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