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April 4th, 2007
Occasionally, I get submissions from folks and if I think they would be of interest to my readers, I blog them.
This was submitted to me complete with a great photo by Ronna von Knorring, a transplant from Kansas who blogs here.
As a fair number of my readers seem to be very curious about the creepie crawlies who live here (no, I am NOT talking about those guys hanging around the bars in Jaco), I thought I’d publish her submission! Enjoy!
I don’t know much about these beautiful caterpillars other than that the have a nasty sting. They were out in FORCE on our southern Pacific coastline property in Costa Rica in October 2005. They seemed to really enjoy eating the leaves from our balsa tree as well as crawl into our home. We would find them making their cocoons in the strangest places like a fold in a hammock, in a dark corner near our ceiling and in tarps hanging here and there.
I had seen enough shows on the Discovery Channel to know that the “flashier” and “brighter” some animals and insects are, the more harm they can cause. Having encountered another fancy caterpillar previously that I got too close to, I knew to leave these well enough alone.
One day I was at our outdoor sink when I saw one that had fallen from the tree overhead. Not wanting for it to be in a place where it couldn’t get out, I picked up a nearby leaf and scooted the beauty on to it. As I attempted to toss the leaf and caterpillar over our hedge, I got struck by one of the barbs. OUCH!
They really pack a punch. I instantly felt the pain that is similar to a wasp sting. The intensity lasted about 10 minutes.
I’ve seen pictures of the Morpho Butterfly (the blue one) in its caterpillar stage, and it is even more extravagant looking than this one. As beautiful as they both are, and as “soft” as their spikes might seem to the touch, stay away from these, and other, character filled creatures.
For readers who want to learn more about the various bugs, snakes and other critters, check out The Real Costa Rica.Filed under Bugs and Critters, Cameras & Photography, Costa Rica, Kids in Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Moving to Costa Rica, Retire in Costa Rica | Comments (5)