The fluffy caterpillars of the family Megalopygidae, also collectively known as Flannel Moths. Native to Peru and the New World Tropics, hidden beneath the soft hairs are poisonous spines. If they are handled the spines may break, releasing a chemical which causes excruciating pain, and will also pierce the skin. It can also cause an extreme allergic reaction resulting in rashes, blisters, inflammation, and breathing difficulty.
Weezbo assembled a fantastic collection of macro photos taken by Indonesian photographer Nordin Seruyan (previously featured here) in his back garden in Borneo, Indonesia. His backyard appears to be a veritable wonderland of beautiful mantises, dragonflies, caterpillars, moths, grasshoppers, ladybugs and other insects.
photos by samuel jaffe showcasing the diversity of massachusetts’ caterpillars. notes samuel, “my goal is to share all the secrets i have gathered about our local environments and about the value of our backyard ecosystems. i hope to show people that we do not need to look to far away places to find the beauty of nature. nature is all around us, under our feet, and in our daily lives.”
Maria Sibylla Merian and her daughters were pioneers of natural history illustration and entomology. Among other achievements, at age 52 Maria Sibylla sold most of her belongings and set sail for the Dutch colony of Suriname to study its insects. That was in 1699.
Mulberries, caterpillars, and moths, Maria Sibylla Merian, in De Europische insecten (European Insects), 1730. The Getty Research Institute