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Oak Processionary Moth caterpillar

 
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7689
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Oak Processionary Moth caterpillar Reply with quote

Just a mug-shot of one of these fellows with the troublesome hairs.
Background When I plucked this from the tree, shortly before the rest were vacuumed off, I'm sure it was more hairy.
I am wondering if the short hairs, here about 20% the length of the longer, have snapped off and are lurking to impale me. Their toxin causes a rash, occasionally much worse.
By the time I got to separate this one from his mates in the plastic pot in the salad drawer, they'd covered themselves with silk, as they do in their "nest".
FOV about 8mm tall:

[90x50μ 1sec shots Schn HM 45mmf/4@5.6. 2 x led lamps, probably suffering wobbles. Top 10% cropped. Last shot f/16]
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DQE



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 1653
Location: near Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting photo.

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We are intermittently plagued with Euproctis chrysorrhoea ("brown tail moth") caterpillars in Maine where I live. The "hairs" float around in the air and a high percentage of people are badly to very badly affected. Because the area where I live is on the ocean (on an island, too), pesticides are rightfully very restricted. By special permit, selected professional pest control companies are sometimes permitted to spray a very short-lived, special-purpose pesticide in some small, approved areas, during very bad seasons. Poisoning the immediately adjacent ocean seems to be the primary concern, with issues on land being a close second. With rain, etc, pesticides and other stuff of course runs off into the ocean and can do so from substantial distances.

I wonder if our authorities have heard of the non-pesticide control methods you describe?
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