Lonomia obliqua, also known as the giant silkworm moth caterpillar or the ᴀssᴀssɪɴ caterpillar, is a species found in South America, particularly in Brazil.
Despite its beauty with striking feathers on its ʙᴏᴅʏ, it is considered one of the most ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs caterpillars in the world due to its ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs sᴘɪɴᴇs that can ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ ʜᴇᴍᴏʀʀʜᴀɢɪᴄ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ and even ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ.
The ᴛᴇʀʀɪʙʟᴇ Caterpillar!
The Lonomia obliqua caterpillar is giant, measuring up to 12 cm in length, with a distinct shape resembling a pine cone.
It has a dark brown or black body with several rows of bright green or yellow sᴘɪɴᴇs along its ʙᴀᴄᴋ, which can be highly iridescent and beautiful when viewed up close.
The sᴘɪɴᴇs are hollow and contain ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ that is highly ᴛᴏxɪᴄ to humans.
The ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ of the Lonomia obliqua caterpillar is a complex mixture of ᴘʀᴏᴛᴇɪɴs and ᴇɴᴢʏᴍᴇs that can ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ ʀᴇᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴs in humans.
When a person comes into contact with the caterpillar’s sᴘɪɴᴇs , the ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ is released and can ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴘᴀɪɴ, sᴡᴇʟʟɪɴɢ, and ʀᴇᴅɴᴇss at the contact site.
However, the real ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ of the caterpillar lies in its ability to ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴀʟ ʙʟᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ and ᴏʀɢᴀɴ ꜰᴀɪʟᴜʀᴇ. In addition, the ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ can ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ a condition known as ʜᴇᴍᴏʀʀʜᴀɢɪᴄ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ, which can be ꜰᴀᴛᴀʟ if not ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴇᴅ promptly.
There Have Been Several Reported Cases Of People Being ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ By The Lonomia Obliqua Caterpillar In Brazil.
The ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs sᴘɪɴᴇs of the caterpillar can be found on trees, leaves, and even the ground, making it difficult to avoid contact with them.
The caterpillar is most active during the rainy season when it feeds on the leaves of trees, and its presence is more common in rural areas where people may come into contact with it while working in the fields or collecting firewood.
In Brazil, measures have been taken to ᴘʀᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ and ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛ the ᴇꜰꜰᴇᴄᴛs of Lonomia obliqua ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ.
The Brazilian government has issued ᴡᴀʀɴɪɴɢs about the caterpillar, and people are advised to wear protective clothing when working outdoors.
If a person is sᴛᴜɴɢ ʙʏ a caterpillar, they should seek ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ᴀᴛᴛᴇɴᴛɪᴏɴ immediately.
The Lonomia obliqua caterpillar is a beautiful but ᴅᴇᴀᴅʟʏ creature that should be ᴄᴀᴜᴛɪᴏᴜsʟʏ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴇᴅ. Its ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs sᴘɪɴᴇs can ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ severe ʜᴇᴍᴏʀʀʜᴀɢɪᴄ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ and even ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ in humans.
It is essential to take precautions when working outdoors in areas where the caterpillar is present and seek ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ᴀᴛᴛᴇɴᴛɪᴏɴ immediately if sᴛᴜɴɢ.
While the caterpillar may be beautiful up close, it is best to admire it safely.