“The scars of others should teach us caution.” ~ St. Jerome
Every year about this time, there’s an abundance of furry little caterpillars racing to and fro, crossing roads, sidewalks, seemingly lost and confused. (They’re not.) I swerve to miss them with my bike or car (of course!) and hasten them off certain death from stomping feet where I can easily do so. I’m not a squisher–I’m a saver. It’s the least I can do.
But I never touch the guy with the fur coat; I’ve heard the stories and learned from my elders.
The hairier variety come in all colors from black to black-and-brown, to banded black, to yellow or yellow-orange. Woolybears are simply baby moths who grow up to be some specie of Tiger Moth, in general.
These ‘eye-lashy’ guys are harmless to the touch.
aka Virginian Tiger Moth
More Spikey Than Hairy
aka Gulf Fritillary
As a general rule, I endeavor not to directly touch (with my finger) any caterpillar anyway. Not for my protection, the bacteria on my skin could mean certain death for a little guy who’s never adapted to it. It’s one thing to let an animal crawl upon you, willingly, with its feet, on its own volition; it’s decidedly impolite to get others sick.
Tee hee! Tickly.
Caterpillars are not meant to be ‘pet.’ And there is one caterpillar that will teach kids that lesson all by its little furry self. This time of year in the Houston area, the puss caterpillar–old timers call them ‘asps’–is busy ruining camping and picnics and playgrounds wherever oak trees might be (that’s his host). He’s practically begging to be pet.
I mean, how could you wear such a soft fur coat and not want to be stroked? DON’T!!
Touch Me and I’ll Hurt You.
aka ‘Asp,’ Southern Flannel Moth