I had been keeping an eye on our milkweed in hopes of taking a monarch caterpillar to school. I was surprised this weekend to find our milkweed had instead a large hatch of these alien caterpillars.
Though they are new to me, they are so showy that it was not overly hard to ID them as milkweed tussock moth caterpillars. Here is a closer look.
And even closer…
Aren’t they awesome? Absolutely spectacular?
They look like they would sting, but I could not not find that information, so I dashed off the question to IFAS. The response was that while they do not have the ability to sting, some people are apparently sensitive to the hairs. As someone who is sensitive to some spider web, I decided not to chance it. I took one to school and we hope to see it make its cocoon. It will be a brown moth. Such a plain little adult from such a flashy juvenile! I guess most of us went through a rebellious stage when we had a few wild hairs.