This lil fellow/gal has been on the leaf of the morning glory for two days now. Seems to enjoy munching on it. Bright green in its mid section with an opening in the center of the green, a sort of brown hole. Red eyes or what look like eyes and brown hairy legs. The rest of the body is brown in color.
Nearing the end of the growing season here in Pa. So I have just left it alone. Also because I am not sure if it is safe to touch it or not.
I have never seen such a creature before. Any information you may have on it will be deeply appreciated. Thank You Very Much for your time!
This was found in Templeton, Pa. US.
Yes, your caterpillar is the saddleback caterpillar.
Caution: It has poisonous spines on the four large projections (tubercles) and many smaller ones that stick out from the sides of its body. Contact with them causes a burning sensation and inflammation that can be as painful as a bee sting. The irritation can last for a day or two. Usually the site of contact reddens and swells much like a bee sting.
A person “stung” by a poisonous caterpillar should immediately wash the affected area to remove any insect hairs and poison that remain. An ice pack will help reduce swelling, and creams and lotions containing steroids will lessen the discomfort.
The saddleback caterpillar is a general feeder. Food sources are many trees, shrubs, and grasses including apple, asters, blueberries, citrus, corn, dogwoods, elms, grapes, linden, maples, oaks, Prunus species, sunflowers and viburnums. These caterpillars tend to stay together after emerging from the egg for a short period of development.
This caterpillar turns into a rather interesting brown moth. This insect occurs east of the Rockies.