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Io Moth Caterpillar

I sting you!

With Kevin’s help, managed to get a photo of this handsome boy–an Io moth caterpillar! I found him on the wild indigo. Photography was a ticklish business, partly because of the auto-focus on my iPhone, but mostly because caterpillars with spines like that can cause you a great deal of pain if you touch them.

Adult Io moths are pretty damn spectacular, and have crazy eye-spots, so he is more than welcome to nosh the wild indigo to his little heart’s content.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.


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Nice shot! Eye-spots or not, I think io caterpillars are way cooler than the adults :-) He's so handsome!

we have some monarchs munching away here.

Oh wooooow. Nature is so cool!

He's a beauty! But oww, those spines-- I've been stung before by caterpillars. No fun at ALL.

I got stung by an I-have-no-idea-what-kind-but-spiny caterpillar in Panama. Owieowieowieowie! Then, months later, I got some of those little dead skin air bubble things on my hand right where the spine stings had been.

Io moth? Is that what Blind Io is named after?

You have wild indigo? It's not a pernicious weed there? Cool... Too cold up here for it, but it's very useful if you're a textile freak.

This was exactly what I was thinking. :D

I have false wild indigo, I should clarify--Baptisia is actually a very popular and useful garden plant in these parts.

You got me all excited. :-( (I guess it has no indigotin in it, then?)

(Also, the flowers are very pretty!)

Edited at 2011-08-11 06:52 pm (UTC)

It does, actually! Just not as much as true wild indigo.

I guess I'll just buy it if I want to do an indigo dye pot.

You know you're a textile junkie when you hear a story about two young men who were going to do an indigo dye pot, which has to be fermented before it will work. When asked how they were going to introduce bacteria to get the ferment going, they replied, "We're going to pee in it."

The really funny thing, as it was related to me? These guys were apparently doctors.

In the interests of being lazy and also not wanting the city to write me citations for having stinky vats in the back yard, I use instant indigo--just add to hot water, and voila!

I am told that there are fields and fields of it in Montana somewhere, because it is a pernicious weed there, but nobody would tell me *where* these fields were so I and my textile geek friends could go harvest it.

I've always wondered ... how the HECK do you get your iPhone to do that?? *flails*

My 3GS always gives horrid pictures. I want her phone!

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