Venomous caterpillars in Texas.
Most caterpillars are the larvae stage of usually flying or winged animals. As we have discussed here on this site on several occasions, Texas, owing to its agreeable climate as well as a juicy geographical location is home to a great number of plant and animal life. Some of those animals would not survive into adulthood unless they had some means of defending themselves from would-be predators- that is why they have come to have the ability to sting or introduce poison or toxins into the bodies of their attackers.
In this article, we want to look at the types of caterpillars in Texas that have the ability to sting, as well as discuss all the interesting facts about them as well.
List Of Venomous Caterpillars In Texas
The saddleback Caterpillar (Acharia Stimulea) gets its name from its unique appearance. These caterpillars are usually green in the middle, but have brown colors on the front and backs of their bodies. These colors are usually bordered with white. When these caterpillars are fully grown they have a general length of about 2cm. These caterpillars have two rows of stinging hairs on their bodies and they are located on the sides of the creature’s bodies. There is also some hair on the front and back ends of their bodies. These hairs are sometimes called spines, and function as a defense mechanism for the saddle-back caterpillars. When an animal or a person touches a saddle-back caterpillar, the spines break off, and can deeply enter the skin, introducing toxins to the bodies of the treats. for humans, this encounter can result in intense burning sensations, swelling, and red blanching. In other people, the spines can cause rashes, reddish itching patches, and even tissue damage. Medical attention may be needed for some people, as there may be allergic reactions at play.
These caterpillars usually feed on plants like maples, hibiscus, palms as well as crape myrtle. So it is not unusual to find them in gardens or front yards. They are extremely unlikely to enter into homes.
Puss Caterpillar/Southern Flannel Moth
The Puss Caterpillar (Megalopyge Opercularis) is marked by the presence of soft hairs all over its body. As a matter of fact this is probably the hairiest type of caterpillar that you will likely encounter if you are living in Texas. But those are not ordinary hairs- those hairs are its security and defense systems, having stiff spines underneath that have poison glands in them. If you mistakenly or intentionally touch them the poisonous glands will break off into your skin and cause prolonged and severe pain.
You can recognize them because they are covered with hair and are generally 2.5 cm in length. They generally have a gray or brownish color. The hairs are so dense that it covers the animal’s mouthparts.
These caterpillars usually feed on a large range of green leaves, including citrus, elms and even oak trees.
Io Moth Caterpillar
The Io Moth Caterpillar (Automeris io) is a rather big caterpillar and can grow to be 6.5 cm in length. They generally have a light green color, while there are white and red strips running down the length of their bodies. These caterpillars have yellow or green protrusions coming out of their bodies and these protrusions have black tips on them. Stay away from them! These protrusions are actually the caterpillars’ weapon. They are hollow and have stinging spines inside them that can break off and enter deeply into the skin. Sometimes a person may not even see these caterpillars but may make contact with them, and then he may suddenly notice that the affected area begins to itch, with sever burning sensations. The affected area may also turn red. Usually, the pain should reduce after about 2 hours, while the swelling should go down after about 8 hours.
You can recognize them because they are not hairy, they are green in color, and have protrusions on their bodies. they can grow to be 6.5 cm in length.
these caterpillars feed on many types of plants, including hibiscus, elms, maples, wisteria, roses, azaleas as well as willows.
the Hag Caterpillar (Photbetron pithecium) is a type of caterpillar that is marked by its brown color. This type of caterpillar has stinging hairs that come in pairs of lateral curved spines that have various lengths. The spines have poison glands underneath them, and they release the poison into the skin by breaking off once they pierce the skin. When a person touches the hag caterpillar and has the toxins introduced into his body Symptoms vary in severity, and can range from burning or hot sensations to itching, redness, as well as inflammation. sometimes this small creature can even trigger allergic reactions.
They can be recognized by their brown color. And also by the two lateral rows of stinging hairs on its body.
Hag Caterpillars feed on many different plants, seeming to prefer hard, woody ones like oak, apple, and dogwood.
Buck Moth Caterpillar
buck Moth Caterpillars (Hermileuca maia) is a type of caterpillar which can be recognized by lateral rows of multi-branched spines along their backs. However, this type of Caterpillar has two varieties- a light-colored type, and a dark-colored type. The lateral rows of spines which we have described above are the caterpillars’ self-defense apparatus. There are toxin glands are the bases of the spines, and the spines break off into the skin of persons that touch them. The toxins of this caterpillar can produce reactions like redness, burning sensation, and swelling in the affected area. A symptom of this caterpillar’s stings can last up to a week. The dark type of caterpillar is the most common form.
You can recognize them by lateral lines of spines running along their backs. They can be light or dark in color.
Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar
Spiny Oak -Slug Caterpillars (Euclea Delphinii) are a type of caterpillar that has a roundish overall shape. They have a range of colors that they can come in, and so color is not the major determinant of this species. Instead of hairs they have spiny protrusions coming out of their bodies. They grow to be about 2 cm long. They sting through these protrusions, and the stings can cause redness, swelling, and itching. The stings of this caterpillar are generally less potent than those of the other caterpillars that we have discussed so far.
Conclusion On The List Of Venomous Caterpillars In Texas:
Caterpillars are generally gentle creatures that have the ability to sting in order to prevent getting eaten. Their stings are generally to get you to leave them alone. They cannot kill. Balms and ointments are usually enough to deal with stings from caterpillars.