Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stinging Caterpillars!

I found 5 of these saddleback caterpillars, Sibine stimulea on my Zebrine Banana on Sunday. They will sting you real good, just ask Meg. Meg sat on one once and another time touched one on Eastern Redbud by mistake. I have found them here on redbud several times, it grows like a weed here. Those horns have a venom and the pain can last for days so please stay clear of them when ever possible. These are about 3/4 inches long BTY.

This Saddleback Caterpillar is covered in wasp larva! Doubt it will live long enough to become a moth.

Below is an Gray Hairstreak butterfly on cantaloupe blossoms from our garden. I had the tiny camera one half inch from it for 3-4 minutes to get this photo, sometimes they do pose for you, it never flew off either.
Black Swallowtail news from Meg's Classroom. The 19 Black Swallowtail cats taken in are now 16 chrysalises and two of the eggs that hatched are still cats. She has 16 children in the class so one butterfly for each child to release back into nature.

15 comments:

Carol said...

Incredible portraits and creature! Amazing light and color Randy! I have never seen this caterpillar. Terrific each child can release a butterfly. ;>)

Shady Gardener said...

Randy, I suppose the "eyespots" on the back of the caterpillars are intended to scare predators? It's too bad they're prickly and something to avoid. They're beautiful!

Speaking of beautiful, your photo of the hairstreak is Wonderful!! I know you take Many beautiful photos - but wouldn't this look great enlarged and in a frame?? :-)

Shady Gardener said...

Oh! I meant to ask what grade Meg teaches. Her students are SO fortunate! :-)

Southern Lady said...

Thanks for the warning about the cat. I don't think I would ever try to touch one on purpose. Your pictures are great as usual. Carla

Randy Emmitt said...

Carol,
I was actually disappointed with the lighting on the cat photos, the lens kept fogging up too.

Shady,

I have much better photos of Gray Hairstreaks, this one is good in composition but a tad harsh contrast. Meg now teaches second grade she used to teach forth and fifth.

Carla you should run into these saddleback there they seem to eat all kinds of vegetation.

Meems said...

Wow. I've never seen that stinging cat before... don't think I want to either. I love the way nature takes care of things. Great photo of the larvae on its back.
Meems

wiseacre said...

great catch of the cat covered in wasp larva. ...and I thought I had back problems.

FlowerLady said...

Great shots!! I also have been stung by the saddleback and it is absolutely horrible! It is a deep hurting ache, at least that's how it was to me, and it did last. It's really hard to explain, but you sure don't want to get stung by one of these. Poor Meg, to have sat on one. They are hard to see when you are just out there doing your gardening thing, and I don't wear gloves usually.

FlowerLady

tina said...

I get these saddlebacks every single year. Their sting feels like boiling water on the skin. Hurts like heck!! Do beware!

Town Mouse said...

Wow, amazing! Never seen these before, they look as if they're from another planet. OK, I'll stay clear of them if I ever see them. Thanks for the warning. (And good luck with the swallow tails).

Msrobin said...

Is he kidding with that outfit? Obviously he has not seen What Not To Wear! So he's gaudy and poisonous, I'm not surprised. I followed a gray hairstreak around my garden one afternoon, but no way he letting me take a picture, lucky you!

Jan (VA Zone 7A) said...

Wow, that caterpillar is something else! I've never seen one! It's actually quite beautiful to look at. I almost feel sorry for it to know those wasp larvae are going to devour it! I guess I wouldn't feel that way if I'd felt it's painful sting.

I was just able to identify yet another butterfly I photographed here...the Gray Hairstreak. When I post that you can check on it for me to make sure I've properly I'D'd it:-)

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

That little guy is soooooooo cute!

Andrea said...

I haven't seen a saddleback, is it also here in the tropics. What is its adult? Your photos are all awesome and lovely, feel envious! And that larva is cute.

Lancashire rose said...

Yikes. what an incredible caterpillar. He is obviously sending a warning to all around although something was not put off.