Colorful Caterpillar Has Amazing Skills In Its Defense

Published February 20, 2018 2,487 Views

Rumble / Wild WildlifeLonomia obliqua (or Giant Silkworm Moth) is a species of Saturniid moths from South America. It is famous for its larval form, rather than the adult moth, primarily because of the caterpillar's defense mechanism, articulating bristles that inject a potentially deadly venom. Its venom has also been the subject of numerous medical studies. This is a video of a caterpillar of a Saturniid Moth filmed in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador showing us it’s unique defense mechanism.

Its body is covered with venomous spines for self-defense. The adult moth is covered in long fur in colors ranging from dull orange to lemon yellow, with hairy legs and fuzzy black feet. The caterpillar has these brightly colored (aposematic coloration) to warn potential predators that it is unpalatable.Exposure to the caterpillar's fur-like spines will lead to an immediate skin irritation characterized by a grid-like hemorrhagic papular eruption with severe radiating pain.The caterpillar is one bad insect you don’t want to mess with!

Want to hear another fun fact? The Amazon Rainforest, also known as the Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is the largest rainforest on earth and is home to 427 mammals (e.g. the jaguar, sloth, and river dolphin), 1,300 birds (like the macaw), 378 reptiles (e.g. anaconda or the Jesus lizard), and more than 400 amphibians (e.g. glass frog and poison dart frog). It covers 40% of the South American continent.

Amazing day to learn new stuff about the Amazon Rainforest!