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Apatelodes torrefacta

Apatelodes torrefacta
Lambertville, Monroe County, Michigan, USA
August 27, 2005
Size: 2.5 inches (6.1 cm)
This is the yellow version of Apatelodes torrefacta. It can also be found in white, but finding images of the yellow seemed difficult. Many thanks to all my friends at for their input and assistance in ID-ing this specimen.

is this invasive
i found one in my garage in va???
dont know if it is

Warning....this Caterpillar is very painfull!!!
I have been researching on the internet for 2 days now trying to find this particular Caterpillar and finally found atleast the right picture of it. This Caterpillar does sting and it's hairs fall out as well into your skin and causes an itchy irritating rash. You have to take a piece of tape across the hairs to pull them out of your skin and wash the stung area very well. I can't find out anywhere if it is actually something I need to go to the hospital about or not? Does anyone know if it's more harmful than just a sting/rash?


I'm sorry to hear of your bad experience
though I'm surprised you think it's due to this caterpillar, which is not one of those known to have stinging spines. It's possible you have a personal allergic reaction to its hairs, or perhaps you have mistaken it for one of the caterpillars that actually do have stinging spines. See this factsheet for details, and this article for images and more links (scroll down to Moths and Butterflies). Either way, if your reaction seems to be getting worse instead of better, I suggest you seek a doctor's advice. Caterpillar stings are not usually serious enough to warrant a hospital visit, but individual reactions can certainly vary widely.

Thanks for responding
I'm quiet sure that this is the caterpillar and I know the difference between a sting and just an irritation. It did sting me through my shirt and the stinging spines fell out into my shirt as well and I had to try and pull them out with a piece of tape; however, if you don't think it was this caterpillar- then is there another caterpillar that you know of that looks like this one? I clicked on your link for all of the stinging caterpillars. I have already seen all of those through my research from the past few days. The caterpillar that stung me does not look anything like those from your link. It looks like this yellow one. As far as the symptoms go the swelling/itching from all the stinging spines has went down and is getting better. I don't think a hospital treatment is needed.

One other common one that looks like this
is American Dagger Moth. Again, none of my references mention it stinging, though. Tussock moth caterpillars (click on Browse if you follow that link to see images), which do sting, are very hairy and also have long black lashes, but a somewhat different overall appearance. You might try putting a question in our Forums to try to get more opinions on this. I'm absolutely not an expert on this question.

American Dagger Moth
Now that I look at the differences it looks exactly like the yellow American Dagger Moth Caterpillar and nothing like any of the Tussock Moth Caterpillars. I can't believe that nothing is mentioned about the American Dagger Moths having hollow stinging spines. Whatever kind of caterpillar it was definately did sting me and it's hollow spines fell out in my skin. Well, thank you for your help and submitting the link for the American Dagger Moth Caterpillar.

My father -inlaw had a caterpillar like the one pictured climb up his pants leg and not knowing what it was killed it on his leg. The next day his leg broke out with red itching spots from above the knee down. We did not know about the stinging spines being removed from the skin with tape. He is in his 70's, could this be serious? He rubbed rubbing alcohol on it. He plans to go to the doctor tomorrow. Could he still have the spines in his skin, and can they be removed this late in the game?

Going to the doctor seems like the best idea
and knowing what caused the rash will be helpful there, I'm sure.

I agree -
and have taken the liberty of relocating to the guide, where we don't have an image of the larva. Very nice shot!

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