Eeek! Another hairy caterpillar!

I was ambling through the garden with my camera yesterday afternoon, when I spotted this beautiful chap munching his way along the cotoneaster:

Magnificent, no?

Magnificent, no?

He looks a lot more hairy and has a far more striking colourscheme than the hairy caterpillar Tuffy and I spotted two weeks ago. I wonder what kind of butterfly he’s going to pupate into? Do you know?

15 thoughts on “Eeek! Another hairy caterpillar!

    • Hi Maplesyrup – welcome to my blog and thank you for leaving a comment! πŸ™‚ I know, I thought it’s a really peculiar creature, and definitely not one to try picking up, cos its ‘hairs’ are probably needlesharp and poisonous! :-}

  1. I recently pruned a tree that was covered with these caterpillars. I picked up the rather large sawn trunk to put it in the trailer for the dump and about two hours later I had a massive allergic reaction to what I can only assess as the hairs or some excrement left behind by these beasts. I avoid them from now on. If anyone in the vicinity of these caterpillars has a reactive nature keep away from them.

    • Yikes! Thank you for the warning! We’ve got about a hundred of these caterpillars on our Australian pepper tree at the moment… I had intended to prune it back, but I think it’s probably wise to wait until the caterpillars have disappeared again. I haven’t seen them on any other trees – was yours also a pepper tree?

  2. These things give me creeps! Havent seen them in a while but when i was growing up i would sometimes find a whole swarm of them on a tree at home and it would freak me out! Eeek!

    • Hi Peter – I’ve discovered that they are the caterpillar of the Cape lappet moth, so they’re not a butterfly but a moth. πŸ™‚ Since we’ve removed our pepper tree, we’ve had less in our garden, though I do still find them dotted about on the other trees. I avoid touching them though!

      • Oh yes now i remember yes that is a pepper tree that we have back home. The tree is still there but i dont know how come i dont see these caterpillars anymore. Thanks i didnt know what they develop into(i was still a kid back then). Wonder what happened to them though, they sure will bring back childhood memories.

  3. A friend lives in Hartenbos and found some in their garden. Thanks for helping us identify it! It looks cuddly and cute she says but we warned her not to pick it up!

    • Hi Liz – I’m glad to have been of help. I think they’re seasonal, I certainly haven’t seen them around throughout the year. So hopefully they’ll disappear from your friend’s garden sometime again. If there’s kids around, definitely make sure they don’t pick them up.

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