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  • Saddleback Caterpillar - (Acharia stimulea)

    Saddleback Caterpillar - (Acharia stimulea)

    It is prudent to avoid touching something that looks so strange. Saddleback Caterpillars have stinging spines.

    Staff Writer (5/13/2015): The Saddleback Caterpillar is covered in short hairs that sting when touched and contact can sometimes leave a rash on its human victim. It is a member of the Slug Caterpillar Moth family and has traded in some of their legs for suckers. This allows them to defy gravity and walk along the underside of leaves and branches when feeding. They are not picky eaters and will feed on a variety grasses, trees and shrubs.

    This highly unusual caterpillar becomes a dark brown moth as an adult. The when wings are opened flat, you can see that the moth has a small white spot on its forewings near its body and then two or three white spots near the tips of the wings. The summer season is its most active time of year.

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    Details of the:
    Saddleback Caterpillar

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Saddleback Caterpillar
    Scientific Name: Acharia stimulea

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Limacodidae
           Genus: Acharia
            Species: stimulea

    Size (Adult, Length): 26mm to 46mm (1.02in to 1.81in)

    Identifying Colors: green; brown; white; black

    Additional Descriptors: flying, stinging, spots

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.