Hello, I've read a lot in books and on the web about poison vs. venom and the distinction between the two but can't clarify whether it is correct to say that a caterpillar with hairs or spines attached to toxin-containing glands is venomous--because it is injecting the toxin via a sort of stinger--or if it is poisonous, since the victim who encounters it has gone and touched the caterpillar and so it is delivered fairly passively on the part of the caterpillar. I realize that if you're the victim you're not going to be debating the word choice, but I'm doing a presentation for some girl scouts and hate to perpetuate an incorrect word choice (some books for kids make no distinctions and talk about poisonous snakes and the like). Thanks for any insight anyone can offer.
Contributed by goingbuggy on 20 December, 2007 - 1:34pm
Disclaimer: Dedicated naturalists volunteer their time and resources here to provide this service. We strive to provide accurate information, but we are mostly just amateurs attempting to make sense of a diverse natural world. If you need expert professional advice, contact your local extension office.