What’s Wooly Waldo?

It looks so fluffy.

Do you know what this is?

When I glanced out my front door’s windows yesterday afternoon, something scooching up the wall caught my eye. You know me . . . first, I grabbed my Nikon dSLR. Then I opened the door and started snapping away.


My first guess was that this was a fuzzy caterpillar. It was tempting to touch it . . . but ewwwwww! No way was I going near this wooly worm-like creature (glad I wielded a 105mm lens). I had never seen anything like it before.

Are those eyelashes it’s batting at me?

Good thing my fear of creepy, crawly critters made me keep my distance. A Google search identified my visitor as a puss moth caterpillar, also known as an asp. It’s one of the most-toxic caterpillars in North America. Yes, the entire flippin’ continent!

That cute, furry look with the long eyelashes? Just a disguise for a savage, tiny beast that can cause a sting with its brown spine that could have you scurrying for the emergency room.

Holy guacamole!

4 responses to “What’s Wooly Waldo?

  1. That’s wild!! I’ve never seen it before….hope they are few and far between…thanks for the info! I’ll tell my gardener (DH)…

    • It was new to me, too, Angie. Apparently, they like oak trees, which we have in our front yard. The Mister said he was stung by one years ago but never saw what it looked like. He knew to call it an “asp,” which apparently is a Texas term (he’s a native Texan). I’m just so glad I didn’t touch it!

  2. That is awesome. I had no idea there were toxic caterpillars in North America.

    • When I posted the photo on Facebook, a bunch of Texas friends knew exactly what it was. Some had had unfortunate encounters with the little critter, too. Before I saw it climbing up the wall, I had no earthly idea it even existed!

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