10 Beautiful But Dangerously Toxic Caterpillars

Image: Storkk

Costa Rican Hairy

We all love to gaze in wonder at the fragile beauty of the colorful butterfly or moth as it flutters gracefully through the air, but we should not forget that the young of these lovely creatures can be just as as glorious to behold, even if they do take the forms of rather creepy caterpillars.

One should, however, be careful about touching these beasties, because some of them protect themselves with substances that are really bad for you.

Image: Sean Mack

1. The Bag Shelter Caterpiller

Bag shelter caterpillars, members of the ‘processionary’ caterpillar family, are among the worst, and should on no account be touched. The larvae live inside a brown bag, made of silk, after which they are named, coming out in nighttime hours to feed on host plants such as beefwood.

When moving between plants and trees, bag shelter caterpillars go head to tail, forming the typical procession that gives rise to the naming of the family. The poison these creatures employ is nasty, and in Southern Brazil and Venezuela is considered a public health problem.