It's called the white hickory tussock moth caterpillar, and it has been spotted in Pennsylvania and New York. Most caterpillars are pretty harmless, but not this one.

Photo Credit: AdrianB via YouTube

When you hear the word 'caterpillar,' you probably think of those fuzzy little creatures, that just crawl on plants, and don't do much. The last thing you think of is 'dangerous.' Well unfortunately some are - including this 'white hickory tussock moth caterpillar.' This type of caterpillar is usually found in Canada, and it is venomous.

Luckily, it isn't deadly. According to Pittsburgh Action News 4,

The white hickory tussock moth caterpillar has been spotted in parts of western Pennsylvania. Its fuzzy black spines contain venom that they use to ward off predators, but it can also irritate human skin.

If you touch the black spines, you could be left with a bad rash and in worse cases, it could affect your vision. But again, it's not deadly. This caterpillar has recently been spotted in western and central Pennsylvania, but they have also been spotted in the Catskills of New York a few years back. This video of the white hickory tussock moth caterpillar was actually filmed in New York.

The other good news is soon these caterpillars will be gone - in a few weeks or so. They will actually be making their cocoons, and becoming moths. But if they do make their way into Central New York (this year), make sure you stay away from these guys! And definitely, DON'T let them crawl on your skin.

 

 

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[Pittsburgh Action News 4]