Poisonous caterpillars infest Spurn Point in England


Brown tailed moth caterpillar

From Wildlife Extra:

Poisonous caterpillars infest Spurn Point

Spurn Point life boat crews are under siege from the Brown Tailed Moth caterpillars, Euproctis chrysorrhoea.

On a visit last weekend Dick and Clare from Paws-a-While witnessed thousands of them.

The crews stationed there are suffering from rashes around their arms neck and legs, headaches vomiting and eye problems.

Normally found on the south coast (An Isle of [Wight] beach was closed in 1997) this is the first time the species has been found in this area.

Rare moth Dysgonia algira in the Netherlands: here.

Mat daisy moths of New Zealand: here.

76 thoughts on “Poisonous caterpillars infest Spurn Point in England

  1. Climate change brings toxic moth to England
    Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:01PM EDT

    LONDON (Reuters) – A species of toxic moth which has been moving steadily north from the Mediterranean because of global warming has reached England, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew said on Wednesday.

    Emergency measures have been put in place to protect trees in Kew Gardens in West London, where a number of Oak Processionary Moths (Thaumetopoea processionea) have been discovered, Kew Gardens said in a statement.

    “The Oak Processionary Moth’s natural range is the Mediterranean regions of Europe. However, in recent years, its range has extended northwards, possibly as a result of climate change,” it said.

    The moth was last reported to have reached Belgium, where its presence caused areas of forest to be closed to the public.

    The Oak Moth lays its eggs in oak trees, and the caterpillars eat the trees’ foliage. The poisonous hairs on the caterpillars’ back can cause itchy rashes, breathing difficulties and severe allergic reactions in humans.

    Kew said the moths found in England were believed to have entered the country as eggs laid on imported trees, so the immediate danger was limited.

    © Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

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  2. we have found one of these caterpillars in our front yard in Milton Georgia on Wednesday May 28 2008. We are for sure we found the euprotis

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  3. we have a catterpillar that looks simalar to this one so what do we do(we can’t send a picture) if the caterpiller is poisionios, when it tranforms into a butterfly is it still going to be poisinous

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  4. Hi alyssa, some caterpillars are poisonous to prevent being eaten. If they become butterflies they usually are no longer poisonous. Though the monarch butterfly is poisonous to birds etc. who try to eat it.

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  5. I just got one like this from my backyard but it is more blue and has a yellowish white line down the center of its back … i wonder is its poisonous?

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  6. hey, I found a caterpiller in my backyard and it is sorta greenish and has a yellowish line down its back. I was wondering if it was poisonous.

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  39. I never knew any of them were poisonous. I hope they can stop them from spreading. I also hope the people who are sick get better. Maybe living in Chicago, where it’s freeing cold in the winter isn’t so bad after all. All the insects leave or hibernate for six months. A lot of us do as well:)

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