February 3, 2013

Small But Terrible – A Venomous Caterpillar

There’s a cute and hairy caterpillar who is making a big buzz in the social scene because:

  1. It is cute.
  2. It is very hairy, just like J. Bieber’s swaggy hair before.
  3. It is small.
  4. It is a caterpillar.
  5. It has a funny and weird name – puss caterpillar (seriously!)

Photo credit: huffingtonpost.com

However, don’t let those description fool you because what’s underneath all that fuzzy hair is a stinging venom greater than the sting of a jellyfish or a bee. It resembles a colored cotton ball it is very tempting to pick up and pet. Do not even do that!

This tiny caterpillar, also called Asp has hollow spines underneath its fur which contain venom. When stung, the affected area will get red, itchy and the affected limb will even have pain radiating up to the limb. The sting may also cause the person to perspire a lot, have abdominal distress, get dizzy, have difficulty in breathing and feel nauseated.

The puss caterpillar is generally found in the southern part of the US, Mexico and parts of Central America. This caterpillar turns into a moth commonly called the Southern Flannel Moth.

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