19th Nov ~ While walking along Orchard Road on one Thursday morning, from the corner of my eyes, I caught a striking sparkling colored tiny object moving on top of a dustbin. Went for a closer look & OMG! What's the furry little cutie thing crawling towards the ashtray?!? It's a Caterpillar! I sounded like a country bumpkin... no, correction... a city girl who had never see such a sight, but I really haven't seen such colorful pretty caterpillar before! All I'd seen are those fat green, yellow or brown ones, some with polka dots, some hairy, but nothing this fascinating! Its back looks like it's carrying 4 stacks of bright orange furs with black strips in between, looking like a bumble bee. There are even 2 eyes-like projections protruding from those stacks. Its head is a bright purplish-red with 2 black furry feelers nodding forward & backward when it crawls. The tail end is a grey blueish-green with black & red dots. All over its body are covered with fine long white silky strands of hairs. Isn't it cute? xD
Cutie Caterpillar on a dustbin top
Seems nice to touch, like a plush toy, no? NO! I might be a silly city girl, but I knew that in nature, especially with insects, reptiles, amphibians or certain marine creatures, anything that colorful or showy are the most dangerous & poisonous! I believe this caterpillar's bumble bee-looking back with false eyes is a bluff, a defense against predator & it's bright fanciful colors, a kind of warning sign. No way this little Hamster is gonna touch that little guy! =P
As it looked so lost on that dustbin, so my friend, using a leaf, carried it & put it on a bush nearby.
Caterpillar Leafy Highway
It doesn't seem to like it, so it was transferred to a tree which we thought it might had fallen from. This suited it better as it happily crawled up the trunk. We said good bye to it & went on our way.
Bye-bye Cutie Caterpillar! xD
Spent about 20mins trying to take good pics of this little guy with my cellphone camera as I didn't had my usual camera with me. Those above pics are the best ones. What a pity, coming across such beauty without my camera!
Even took a video of this little guy. The way it moved with its nodding feelers was really cute. You just gotta check it out. xD
Video of Cutie Caterpillar:
Was wondering what kind of caterpillar is it that looked so cute & beautiful. Thought to myself that it might morph into some brilliantly colored butterfly. Got home & search online for it. To my utter surprise, I was wrong. It's an Ugly Duckling story, in reverse! LOL! xD
It's a caterpillar of a dull Tussock Moth.
But I'm correct on 1 thing. These little critters are very poisonous.
Introduction to Tussock moth caterpillar poisoning:
A hairy, bright-colored caterpillar which can cause skin symptoms on contact with the hair. Inhalation of the hairs can cause respiratory symptoms and eye exposure can also result in symptoms. Patients with pre-existing asthma or atopic allergies may suffer more severe symptoms.
Symptoms of Tussock Moth caterpillar poisoning, mentioned from various sources, includes the 10 symptoms listed below:
* Skin rash
* Itchy skin
* Red skin
* Skin swelling
* Respiratory problems
* Blistered skin
Now, that's scary. Cute & pretty, but deadly! So, unless you are very knowledgeable, please do not touch or handle anything that's cute, pretty or colorful in nature, especially of insects, reptiles, amphibians & some marine creatures. The prettier they look, the more dangerous & very poisonous they will be. Sounds like some females of the human species too eh? Get the drift? LOL! =P
Have a Great Weekend. xD