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Stinging Nettle Slug Caterpillar

Posted by
itchydogimages (Pu'er, China) on 19 December 2012 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

(Cup Moth, Limacodidae)
These caterpillars are custom built with every conceivable self-protection device imaginable. Bright, garish colors which are like danger signs in nature saying "I taste awful" or "I am loaded with poison; multiple stinging barbs which inflict painful and persistent burning rashes (on humans anyway); false eyes pointing in every direction to say " I see you, you can't surprise me"; a head end that looks the same as the rear end so there can be no potential surprise attack from behind; and specific to the Limacodid caterpillars (who actually have no true legs, hence the slug in their name), a sticky adhesive underside that makes them very difficult to prise off their food plant. With that in mind, stinging nettle caterpillars are often not hard to find. They don't conceal themselves day or night and will often be in the most conspicuous of locations. Basically, they have little to fear.
Pu'er, Yunnan, China

SONY DSC-R1 1/160 second F/16.0 ISO 160 60 mm

For an overload of my Chinese insect and spider images, and non-organic subjects from China, check on my Flickr photostream at

Gheorghe from Bucuresti, Romania

Magnificent !

19 Dec 2012 7:28am

Lai Chan See from Singapore, Singapore

A fantastic image. What a beautiful creature.

19 Dec 2012 8:30am

yvan from Lake Bled, Slovenia

WOW, what a beautiful shot, congratulations!

19 Dec 2012 11:29am

Francisco from Miami, United States

WoW!!!! Amazing macro!

19 Dec 2012 12:20pm

helys from Paris, France

So amazing textures, golden color
Nice mood

19 Dec 2012 3:01pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & wonderful!
Beautiful colors & lights!

19 Dec 2012 4:11pm

Florence from Paris, France

Great colors ! 5 *

19 Dec 2012 8:00pm

aaanouel from Heredia, Costa Rica

Well John... great shot and very interesting explanation.
Txs4Sharing a lot!

19 Dec 2012 8:42pm

SharonPleasants from Monroe, Louisiana, United States

They sound similar to a skunk! Nothing to fear.

19 Dec 2012 9:29pm

1/160 second
ISO 160
60 mm