One of the world’s weirdest animals! These carnivorous caterpillars of Brazil are known as assassin caterpillars. It’s heavily equipped with deadly poison for protection until it turns in to a full-grown butterfly.
What is it?
The assassin caterpillar—or lonomia obliqua—is a deadly predator insect equipped with venomous spines all throughout its body for protection, ranging from 4.5 to 5.5 centimeters long. Its toxin is six times more powerful than that of a snake and is capable of killing you within just 15 hours of being stung. It’s extremely dangerous and deadly to humans, especially to the young and the elderly. This caterpillar turns from a venomous larva into a butterfly.
Where is it located?
This world’s weirdest caterpillar is found in the wild nature of Brazil, where it’s found in the trees and limbs of the forest and jungle wildlife. They’re difficult to spot due to their color, which helps them stay camouflaged with their surroundings. In fact, most people don’t even realize their presence until AFTER they’re stung.
How will it kill you?
The deadly caterpillar carries a powerful venomous toxin at the base of its spine called hemotoxin. It causes your blood to clot inside your blood vessels in a process called disseminated intravascular coagulation. Stings initially cause swelling and a bruised-like appearance on the affected area followed by intense pain. The hemotoxin then attacks your protein cells, leading to internal bleeding as it spreads throughout your organs and causes death as it ultimately reaches your brain.
How to survive:
If you find yourself in the wildlife of an assassin caterpillar presence, carefully observe the trees and plants surrounding you as this insect can be extremely difficult to spot. Those who’ve been stung must clean their wounds with soap and water then use tape to remove the caterpillar’s small hairs that may be stuck in your skin. Stings and abrasions can also be further treated with antifibrinolytics, while an anti-venom designed specifically for assassin caterpillar stings can be used to reverse the effects of disseminated intravascular coagulation.