Sunday, April 11, 2010
Caterpillars Can Kill People......
You see this? This is Lonomia obliqua and it and all the other Lonomia species can kill you. Oh and you thought that this was your "average spiny harmless" caterpillar?
Ha! Hell no.
These things can and will kill you. Although death from these things apparently isn't common or frequent ( thank God ) I wouldn't take my chances with them.
Will you ever see them? Most likely no. But if you go to Brazil........
Lonomia sp. is responsible for the following:
1. Massive internal bleeding
2. Kidney failure ( which means you die )
And you thought the horror story couldn't get any worse? It just did.
The genus Lonomia is a moderate-sized group of fairly cryptic saturniid moths from South America, famous not for the adults, but for their amazingly venomous caterpillars, which are responsible for a few deaths each year, especially in southern Brazil, and the subject of hundreds of published medical studies.
The caterpillars are themselves extremely cryptic, blending in against the bark of trees, where the larvae commonly aggregate. The larvae, like most hemileucines, are covered with urticating hairs, but these caterpillars possess a uniquely potent anitcoagulant venom.
A typical envenomation incident involves a person unknowingly leaning against, placing their hand on, or rubbing their arm against a group of these caterpillars that are gathered on the trunk of a tree. The effects of a dose from multiple caterpillars can be dramatic and severe, including massive internal hemorrhaging, renal failure, and hemolysis. The resulting medical syndrome is sometimes called Lonomiasis.
Wikipedia has told all. But there is one more thing......
The following link has graphic photos of what happens when you touch one of these things.
Plus they go into detail about what happens.....just as graphic
Not for faint hearted.
You have been warned......CLICKY!