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Stinging Rose Caterpillar

  • stinging rose caterpillar photoHere is a caterpillar with a fantastic name, and an even more fantastic look. The Stinging Rose caterpillar, found in forests of the eastern US, is a mere one inch long and is brightly colored. But what catches the eye more than the vivid yellows and reds are the spined tubercles jutting from its sides.¬†University of Arkansas¬†notes that the black tips on these spines release poison. If you touch one, the tips break off and will give you a skin irritation nearly on par with the Saddleback caterpillar.

    Toxic but nonetheless important to its ecosystem, it (and the moth it turns into) is considered a species of conservation concern.

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