A field guide to Kenyan mangroves
? Saturniidae moth (Emporor Moth) species ?
Zone: These caterpillars are found in the R. mucronata zone.
Habitat: On leaves.
Ecological notes: Irritating hairs on back. Only one specimen found (in Mida Creek, Kenya) during 16 weeks of field work. "The individual in the photo above appears to be a 3rd or 4th instar larva of a Saturniidae moth (Emporor Moth) species, many of the moths in this family have urticating spines, these spines actually administer a small dose of histomine causing mild to sometimes severe stinging, welts, and even blisters causing allergic reactions in some humans.. This is amplified by the fact that many species are gregarious, feeding in large groups. Brushing up against a group on a tree limb with bare skin can be a memorable experience! I have been there let me tell you!" (S. Smith pers. comm. 2001).
Distinguishing characteristics: Irritating hairs on back.
Geographical range: "These moths are found throughout the world, africa has a fairly high number of native species" (S. Smith pers. comm.).
References: Scott Smith personal communication, 2001. Clearfield, Utah, email: email@example.com
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