Sunday, September 07, 2008


I came across these guys in the back yard this morning. They look cool. They also stripped the leaves off a maple sprout overnight. As I was plucking this leaf I accidentally brushed my finger against another one that was hiding on an opposing leaf. OW! It was like getting stung by a wasp.

Stay away from these guys!

These buggars are bad! I got online and read about them. They are Saddleback caterpillars, and the stings can be dangerous. The best you can do is treat them like other insect stings. These guys come out in late summer/early fall. They range from Florida to Texas, up north as far as Massachusetts. Yup, I'm smack dab in the middle of that range, lol. Funny, I haven't seen them before. I guess they like fruit trees, although I found these on a maple. They hide on the undersides of leaves, so they'll catch you unaware when you are gardening. Watch out for them!

Mean little buggars


soleil said...

I've never seen anything like them. They look cool!

haffnewie said...

OMG... I know about those guys! I watched one eat my rosebush one summer! He was so beautiful and I was so mesmerized by him! One day I went out to check on him and his progress... and I accidentally stepped on him... barefoot! I ended up in the ER.
Horrible little creatures. But oh so pretty!
I love your photos of them. And you have a bunch to worry about. I only had one!
My brother says that you should "look out" for anything that is brightly colored. That is God's way of warning us that it is dangerous. But then dull colored things are dangerous too... so...?

Michelle said...

Amazing creatures! I wonder if they are attracted to anything like slugs are to beer? Did you find a way to entice them off the tree?

I have never seen anything like these, and you'd think that we would have them in Va!

I'd be afraid they'll demolish your maples. You need all the shade trees you can get too.

Jenn said...


I can't for the life of me remember how I found your blog but I've been reading for a few years (wow!)...

Anyway, I was just at our local nature center in a state park THIS AFTERNOON and happened to be leafing through a book about butterflies and saw a picture of this very caterpillar. I thought it looked so cool and was facinated by it's stinging barbs.

Isn't that just...freaky?!?!?!

SOSOY said...

Oh, UGH! Am I the only one who thinks these things are gross? OK, they're pretty interesting, but as soon as I read they were dangerous - the ER???? - my fascination ended. How many do you think there are on your tree/in your yard?

I hope your kids don't find any more by accident!

Lisa said...

YIKES! Stinging caterpillars!

Melanie said...

Never seen them before. They're very interesting-looking.

Kristin said...

Bizarre! I've never seen those before -- they don't even look real. Do they turn into butterflies? Probabaly pretty ones if they do.