Puss Caterpillar. La Chua Trail, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Gainesville, Florida. 2014.
I was excited to find this unusual caterpillar today. It was hanging on the back of an "iron ranger" at the entrance to a popular state park trail, so I was able to get some good detail shots. Puss Caterpillars have one of the most painful stings of any caterpillar in North America. Beneath the hairs that look so soft and touchable, are spines that deliver a wicked sting if you happen to touch one. So beware! The caterpillars will transform into furry moths. I do not know if the moth also has a painful sting