Lonomia obliqua is a species of caterpillar that is native to South America, including Brazil. It is commonly found in the state of Paraná but can also be found in other regions such as São Paulo and Minas Gerais. In Brasilia the caterpillar was found for the first time in Lago Sul and has now spread all over Brasilia.
This caterpillar is known for its venomous spines, which can cause severe bleeding and even death in humans if not treated properly.
Recognizing Lonomia obliqua can be challenging because it closely resembles other species of caterpillars. However, there are a few key characteristics that can help with identification. First, Lonomia obliqua has a distinctive coloration, with a green or brown body and a yellow head. The body is also covered in small, black spines.
Secondly, the caterpillar can be found in big clusters on trees trunks or scrubs during the day and feed on leaves of the host tree during the night.
Another way to recognize Lonomia obliqua is by its size and shape. The caterpillar is relatively large, measuring up to 7 cm in length. It is also relatively thick and cylindrical in shape.
It's important to note that Lonomia obliqua caterpillars are not only venomous but also very active. They are known to move around frequently and can be found in a variety of environments, including forests and gardens. They are also known to be attracted to light, so they may be found near outdoor lights at night.
If you come into contact with a Lonomia obliqua caterpillar, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. The venom can cause severe bleeding, and in some cases, can lead to death. Symptoms to watch for include severe pain and swelling at the site of the sting, as well as bleeding from the nose, mouth, and other body parts, followed by systemic symptoms such as headache, fever, vomiting, and malaise.
In order to avoid contact with Lonomia obliqua, it is important to be aware of the types of plants and trees that are commonly found in their habitat. Also, when working in an area where they might be present, it is a good idea to wear gloves and long sleeves to protect your skin from the venomous spines.
In conclusion, Lonomia obliqua is a venomous caterpillar that is native to South America, including Brazil.
Recognizing Lonomia obliqua can be challenging, but knowing its distinctive coloration, size and shape, and behavior can help identify it. If you come into contact with one, it is important to seek medical attention immediately and to take precautions to avoid contact with them.