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Taturana-gatinho (Puss Caterpillar)

Podalia orsilocha (Cramer, 1775)


"Taturana-gatinho" is one of the names given in Brazil for this kind of caterpillars of the Megalopygidae family. The critter shown above had about 70mm long and during one month (photo 1 - January 18; photo 2 - January 25; photo 3 - February 7; photo 4 - February 17) it was photographed feeding on this plant. They have venomous spines that can cause a painful sting and inflammation lasting for several days. In some cases, the sting may cause headache, nausea, and shock-like symptoms.


I found this caterpillar near the jungle of Atlantic Forest, in Parque São Vicente, Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, about 840m above sea level.


The town of the coordinates (lat: -22.537570, long: -43.228488) that I used for search, is not DUQUE DE CAXIAS, as reports the search map tool of this page, but PETRÓPOLIS, as shown here:

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sunnyjosef 8 years ago

Great spotting Antonio... Congrats!!

LisaPowers 8 years ago

Very nice series! Congrats!

Many thanks to everyone.
I am very proud to have this spotting elected SOTD.

Congratulations AntonioCarlosDeBarrosCarvalho!

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 8 years ago

Fantastic shot!! Congrats on SOTD

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 8 years ago

Parabéns, Antonio Carlos. Linda foto de um animal magnífico.

Stephanie R.
Stephanie R. 8 years ago

Congratulations Antonio! What a fantastic SOTD!

AshleyT 8 years ago

Congrats Antonio, this hairy caterpillar has been chosen as Spotting of the Day!



The MnMs
The MnMs 8 years ago

Looks like Donald trump has lost his wig!
Now, seriously, very nice spotting! :-)

SukanyaDatta 8 years ago

Thanks for taking the time. Really appreciate.

Thank you, Stephanie R., Gilma Jeannette Ospino Ferreira-Norman and SukanyaDatta.

As said by Dr. Roberto Moraes (a biologist of Butantan Institute) in the video of the link below (audio in Portuguese), it is a very common caterpillar that ocurres in all Brazilian territory, and in the last 10 years I found and phoytographed this species at least 5 times.

Sorry, SukanyaDatta, but I have no ID suggestion for your amazing caterpillar.


SukanyaDatta 8 years ago

I once found a well-combed caterpillar which looks a bit like this one (but well combed) ...would you mind taking a look and seeing if an ID is possible...or a guess.
Many thanks

That is a gorgeous creature. Thanks for sharing, AntonioCarlosDeBarrosCarvalho.

Stephanie R.
Stephanie R. 8 years ago

This is both fantastic and creepy at the same time! Are they common, or rare insects?

Duque de Caxias, RJ, Brazil

Spotted on Jan 18, 2013
Submitted on Apr 3, 2016

Spotted for Mission

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