Don`t touch me
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [Portuguese]|
|No ID for this one but i found some information about venomous caterpillars.|
The genus Lonomia is a moderate-sized group of fairly cryptic saturniid moths from South America, famous not for the adults, but for their amazingly venomous caterpillars, which are responsible for a few deaths each year , especially in southern Brazil, and the subject of hundreds of published medical studies.
The caterpillars are themselves extremely cryptic, blending in against the bark of trees, where the larvae commonly aggregate. The larvae, like most hemileucines, are covered with urticating hairs, but these caterpillars possess a uniquely potent anticoagulant venom.
A typical envenomation incident involves a person unknowingly leaning against, placing their hand on, or rubbing their arm against a group of these caterpillars that are gathered on the trunk of a tree. The effects of a dose from multiple caterpillars can be dramatic and severe, including massive internal hemorrhaging, kidney failure, and destruction of blood cells (hemolysis). The resulting medical syndrome is sometimes called Lonomiasis.
To date, no one has calculated the LD50 values of Lonomia venom; the rate of human fatality has been documented as 1.7%, compared to a rate for rattlesnakes at about 1.8%, despite the fact that the amount of venom is only a minute fraction (less than 0.001) of the amount in a snake bite. Accordingly, it seems likely that when measured, the LD50 for Lonomia venom will be among the lowest for any natural toxin known. As the plants the larvae feed upon are not unusually toxic, they presumably synthesize the toxin directly, but the biochemical pathways used have apparently not yet been documented.
While there are more than a dozen species in the genus, the most troublesome species is Lonomia obliqua, and it is this species which most of the medical research has centered upon. As anticoagulants have some very beneficial applications (e.g., prevention of life-threatening blood clots), a fair bit of the research is with the intent of deriving some pharmaceutically valuable chemicals.
tuslaw, maurydv has marked this note useful
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- [2011-02-19 13:41]
Superb detail in this exceptional caterpillar image. The flash really brought out the beautiful colors of it's hairs as well as it's body. I like the close crop which allows us to get a good look at this hairy little guy. Great work!!
I remember when I was in Brazil a few years ago I touched a caterpillar which made my thumb burn for a few hours. I have since learned to never touch one that I'm not totally familiar with. I have a shot of it in my gallery if you care to view it.
a superb macro shot of this caterpillar, outstanding sharpness and perfect flash exposure, excellent POV and composition, very interesting notes of this genus
Ciao Paulo, great macro of fantastic catarpillar, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful colors, very well done my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio
- [2011-02-19 16:18]
Hi Paulo,what a beautiful caterpillar and what a fantastic pic!The best of quality,what a focus everywhere,what a sharpness and colors!The pic of a day,no doubt.Thanks for share,have a nice Sunday,Luciano.
- [2011-02-19 16:31]
exciting shot of this hairy friend. Very special camouflaging composition in excellent sharpness and clarity. The diagonal composition is enhancing in making the presentation lovelier.
Impressive macro Paulo!! The composition, the colours and the sharpness are excellent
Fantastic macro, interesting specimen, amazing body of this caterpillar. Super sharpness and colors.
Hi Paulo - an excellent capture of the caterpillar. Its fearful by the look of it. Sharpness is awesome with great POV. TFS