Some caterpillars gain their toxicity through the plants they eat. Such is the case with the Cinnibar caterpillar, which dines on poisonous ragwort. In fact, they eat so much of the plant that they were introduced into New Zealand, Australia and North America to help control the plant. While the plant is lethal to livestock like cattle and horses, the solution isn’t without its problems too. The hairs of the Cinnibar caterpillar can cause rashes and, if you’re particularly sensitive to caterpillar hair, it can even cause urticarial dermatitis, atopic asthma, consumption coagulopathy, renal failure, and intracerebral hemorrhage. In short, stay well away from both ragwort and the caterpillars that feed on it!
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