Io Caterpillars

The Io caterpillar has barbs which produce a painful sting if touched

The Io caterpillar has barbs which produce a painful sting if touched

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a well-known phrase, commonly associated with physical attractiveness. In the case of Io moths, beauty is in the beholder of the eyes. Whether one sees the insect as “attractive” or not, depends on whether one chooses to view Io caterpillars and moths as pests.

The painful sting inflicted by the barbs located on the caterpillars back is reason enough to doubt the value of this creature, but these features are not redeemed by the usefulness of the moth–Io moths have no mouth-parts; therefore, they are not active pollinators! Read the full article here!

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