Look Out For This Bizarre-Looking Caterpillar That Lives in Maine
This weird furry caterpillar has names just as crazy as it looks.
Next time you're on a hike in Maine, keep your eyes open for the Monkey Slug, or Hag Moth, caterpillar. Creepy right?
Take a look at what this spider/caterpillar hybrid looks like when it sheds:
(WARNING: Maybe a little gross but cool at the same time?)
The video comes from our friends at the Caterpillar Lab in Keene, NH. They currently have one of these enigmas on display.
We asked Jesse Varga, the lab manager, for a little bit more info on the wonderment of the Monkey Slug.
Monkey slugs are slug caterpillars in the family Limacodidae. All of the caterpillars in this group are virtually legless; although they do have tiny leg points, they don't use them and instead cruise around on a flat muscular pad. Because of this, we have actually filmed them from underneath, through a glass slide, and capture videos of internal organs, metamorphosis from the inside, and even a parasitic fly living inside the caterpillars body! Slug caterpillars are still caterpillars, and each will eventually metamorphose into the pupa, after making a small, bean-like cocoon, and then into the moth. Monkey slugs in particular are one of the strangest looking slug caterpillars, with hydraulic tentacles coming off their backs covered in irritating hairs. We haven't been stung by them (unlike some other slugs) but they can give sensitive people a rash. All slug caterpillars prefer smooth leaves, like oak or beech.
Basically, if you find yourself face-to-face with a Monkey Slug caterpillar just look at it and don’t touch it.