Saddleback Caterpillar - Acharia stimulea - BEWARE by MotherNature

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Saddleback Caterpillar - Acharia stimulea - BEWARE by 

This is not the best picture in the world but I want to make everyone is aware of the Saddleback Caterpillar which ranges throughout the eastern half of the USA. It would be my guess it can be found in the lower regions of Canada, too. They are pretty, one of the “slug” type caterpillars, and these spines are NO NONSENSE! If you come in contact with these spines, they will be sunk into your skin and they break off and inject venom. Remove the spines ASAP!!!!

If you are unfortunate enough to pull the stupid trick I did (reaching around a small tree to steady myself for taking a photo without looking at what might be on the back side), you could end up with many painful stings. They are medically significant and can cause a rash, even nausea, and a really miserable, painful hurting injury. Some people may experience the allergic reaction called anaphylaxis from the stings; swelling of the throat and other areas can cause breathing problems and require medical attention. Respect them – do not try to pick them up – do not come in contact with them:>)

Although this is a rotten experience, and painful, most stings are gone in about five hours. The first site listed below tells how to manage a sting and what kinds of caterpillars can be problematic.

the adult moth is average and flies at night – nothing to write home about. This photo was taken today at approximately 5 PM East Coast Time in Green Lane, PA, USA.

Here is some info:

This is dedicated to being cautious and aware:>)

My camera is a Canon T4i, and the lens is a Tamron macro


caterpillar, saddleback, spines, sting, moth, bug, insect, acharia stimulea, animal, nature, mothernature

I love nature, science, poetry, prose, art, music – you name it! Now that I’m retired, time is mine to spend as I wish (pretty much), and I wish to take pictures of our natural world.

Bringing the outdoors in for others to see, especially those who may not get the opportunity to wander next to a pond, fish at the beach, or tramp in the woods, is a pleasure. I hope to build a window to the wonders of nature that fill our everyday lives.

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  • Sharon House
    Sharon House10 months ago

    What a cute little one this is… it brings to my mind a little dog in a winter coat, but in saying that I have no doubt those little “spikes” would induce a most annoying itchiness…

  • Actually it is like a bee sting – mostly not anything but painful and annoying. He’s only trying to survive, after all:>) Thank you for your visit, Sharon – I appreciate it!

    – MotherNature

  • Bette Devine
    Bette Devine10 months ago

    Yes, now I am very aware of those cruel-looking spikes! And yet it looks so lovable in that little coat! We have caterpillars that can sting, but I don’t think that they are as dangerous as this little fellow!

  • They really are handsome devils, and the sting part is, of course, quite a good defense! I’m back to normal today with no residual effects:>) Children and people with allergies to stings could be in trouble, though, if not taken care of. Apparently Eucalyptus trees are one host for a stinging sort of caterpillar for you guys down under. They all look so cute, though, don’t they:>)

    – MotherNature

  • Nicole W.
    Nicole W.10 months ago

    I so agree with Sharon, he is cute!

  • It really does look like it’s dressed in a doggie coat – LOL. If you see a bunch of them on a leaf (when quite young and small), they are well camouflages because the way they eat creates leaf damage that resembles the caterpillar coloration. Smart, eh?

    – MotherNature

  • jayluk
    jayluk10 months ago

    very good close up

  • Alison Finch
    Alison Finch10 months ago

    Gorgeous and deadly – isn’t that just like all the best looking fellas?! Many hairy caterpillars as well as the spiny ones can cause skin irritation, so they shouldn’t really be handled if possible – accidents notwithstanding! But even so, I’d love one of these dudes to pop up in my UK garden. Jealous!

  • As with everything in life, knowledge is power – in this case the power not to get stung – LOL> Thank you for this really fun comment, Alison, and for your support, too!

    – MotherNature

  • marens
    marens10 months ago

    fabulous find and capture Carol – interesting infos too!!!

  • Hi, marens:>) I haven’t seen one of these in quite a few years – let my guard down and “ZAP!” Can’t blame this beautiful little fellow for trying to survive, however, and I was tickled to find it and get a couple pictures:>) No pain, no gain, right?

    – MotherNature

  • Laurie Search
    Laurie Search10 months ago

    Sooooo wonderful, MotherNature!!!!! :)))

  • Thank you ever so much, Laurie. The marvels of our natural world are endless:>)

    – MotherNature

  • PineSinger
    PineSinger10 months ago

    What an odd little guy…have to watch for them here!

  • They are not cuddly like our everyday caterpillars, that’s for sure – LOL. Thank you for bringing that smile and making this a favorite!

    – MotherNature

  • vigor
    vigor10 months ago

    It’s adorable though, looks like it has a sweater on.

  • It does look like it’s someone’s pet all dressed for bad weather:>) LOL

    – MotherNature

  • vigor
    vigor10 months ago

    Yes it does look like it ready for bad weather. I have never seen one of these but I’ll remember not to mess with it, sounds very unpleasant to encounter one, especially when you back into one!

  • My best advice – don’t! LOL

    – MotherNature

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