Stinging Nettle Slug Caterpillars (Cup Moths, Limacodidae)
Cup Moth larvae are often highly ornamented and brightly colored. Two main types can be distinguished: larvae armed with rows of protuberances bearing stinging spines called nettle caterpillars, or non-spined forms where the surface of the larvae may by completely smooth, called gelatin caterpillars. The larvae of this family bear no prolegs on their abdominal segments. The larva attaches itself to the substrate by means of an adhesive ventral surface. The movement is like a slug hence their generic name.
A stinging slug caterpillar (like these ones) generally bears warning colouration and stinging hairs. These hairs can inject a venom from poison sacs carried at their base that are used as defensive weapons. Reactions can range from a mild itching to a very painful sting.
View my other images of Limacodid Caterpillars from China (Beijing and Yunnan) in my Flickr photostream, HERE.
You will notice I have given each individual a descriptive superhero-style name in the title of the images in captions and on Flickr. These are for my own reference mainly because practically none of these caterpillars are identified (maybe even ever formally) and this will allow me to group the growing number of images I have into their like-kinds including the various instars I have captured. The names will be included as tags on Flickr.
These are the varieties that are currently in my photostream:
Dirty Mary (Darna sp.), Virgin Mary, Bloody Mary, Toothbrush, Hole-in-One, Green Devil (Setora sp.), Bullseye, Carrot Top, Torpedo (Susica sp.), Red Devil (Setora sp.), Blue Streak (Susica sp.), Chameleon, Yellow Devil (Setora sp.), Green Marauder, Almond-backed, Submarine, Sand and Sea, The Clown, The Ghost, Chequers, Triple Streak (Parasa sp.), Pin Cushion, Haemorrhoid, Bread Loaf, Jelly Bean (Chalcocelis and Belippa spp.), Tank (Prolimacodes, Demonarosa spp.), Ninja Turtle (Narosa sp.), Doormat (Thosea sp. and Cania sp.), Snickers (Mahanta sp.), Blue Stripe (Parasa sp.), Blueback (Cnidocampa (Monema) sp.), Jagged Little Pill (Darna sp.), Pink Lady, Canary, The Jester, Stool, Yellow Caboose, Zebra Crossing, Ox Tongue, Octopus, Outrigger, Inkblot, Blaze (Thosea sp.), Firecracker (Ceratonema sp.), Icicle, Optimus Prime, Claret, Cherry Ripple, Lavenderman (Parasa sp.), Cogwheel.
by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China
See more Chinese caterpillars on my Flickr site HERE…..