Seen at 2019-08-15T05:00:00Z
This is called a slug caterpillar. The name is a local name and not a proper taxonomic one. This local name is due to the fact that the underside appears like a slug although this is the larva (caterpillar) of a moth. The caterpillar belongs to the family Limacodidae. I would like to know the species.
The individual that you can see here is in its final instar. I haven’t reared these ever so I cannot give more information about the instars.
Fun Fact 1: Often after the monsoon you will see many clusters of large oval, egg like structures on the bark of mango trees. The egg like structures are cocoons and are made by these “slug caterpillars”.
Fun Fact 2: Stay away from touching this caterpillar. All the bushy hair that you see in the image are uricating. This means that each carries a tiny droplet of an irritant. When you touch the caterpillar, the droplet is injected in the skin and can cause fairly serious pain. I would love to swipe this caterpillar with a Ph paper. Why?
Fun Fact 3: See the colors, they are bright and gaudy. This caterpillar makes no attempt to hide. This is because of its defense mechanism (The urticating hair).
Do you know any other creatures that advertise their defense?