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Monkey Slug or Hag Moth Caterpillar

Phobetron sp.


With the body covered with bristles, this species has sexual dimorphism in adults, and their larvae may show a yellow, gray or brown color, regardless of gender. It feeds by scraping the surface of the leaves, eventually build a cocoon of silk in the final moment of their development, which becomes pupa.

(Revista Brasileira de Entomologia/ Scielo)


Host plant: Habitando amendoeira Combretaceae.


● Pic 1, Individual in its penultimate instar, before becoming adult. The lateral expansions are not legs, Phobetron moves as the slug .

● Pic 2, The same individual from the first picture, walking in my hand. Phobetron is not poisonous or stinging.

● Pic 3, The same individual who is in the pictures 1 and 2, now in its last instar before becoming adult, walking on a surface of transparent glass.

● Pic 4, The larvae at different instar on leaf of the host plant.

● Pic 5, Ventral (anus of the caterpillar) I do not know what are the white spots. I believe that the dark spots are food traversing the digestive tract, from mouth to anus.

● Pic 6, Ventral ( head of the caterpillar.) The head is retractable, is hidden beneath a skin or "hood".

● Pic 7, Ventral (overview). Larva phobetron has reduced legs, moving around by undulations of the body.

● Pic 8, The larva feeding on leaf T. Catappa. Phobetron feeds at any time, day or night. In the the molting period, the larva ceases feeding, getting inactive. Phobetron hás something I don't know how to name the thing is over his head, is like a skin, with a capacity of adhere to the leaf. While the larva eats and sleeps, the 'thing that sticks to', protects the head and prevents the caterpillar can fall leaf.

● Pic 9, The projections are incredible and may vary in number and size. The projections are not stinging. They give strangeness and protection for the caterpillar. The 'tentacles' do not loosen when the caterpillar feels threatened. If a bird trying to peck Phobetron, he can pull the 'tentacles' without hurting the body of the caterpillar. The hairs on the back and the projections are not connected to the interior of the body of the larva, are not vital.

* Info contained in the notes are based on my observations and research.

1 Species ID Suggestions

bayucca 6 years ago
Monkey Slug or Hag Moth Caterpillar
Phobetron sp. Alien Caterpillar!!! | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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Sckel 6 years ago

thanks dear :)

RiekoS 6 years ago

Wow. Amazing. Still please be careful about putting caterpillars on your hands!

Sckel 6 years ago

Sigg, this is not a toxic caterpillar, is not stinging. It walked on my hand and on my face. But I do not recommend that people manipulate larvae phobetron, was a risk I wanted to run, and it was incredible. beyond what the hairs can cause allergy in sensitive people. thanks

Sckel 6 years ago

Mark, I put 9 photos using the trick of Jason Alexander. :) You need to send a few dollars to my bank account.

Sckel 6 years ago

thanks AshleyT :)

AshleyT 6 years ago

What a cool caterpillar, Sckel!

Sckel 6 years ago

Thanks for all the kind comments. Thank bayucca by ID. :) Add info using google translator, sorry if the notes and description contain grammatical errors.

Awww that cutie ! Amazing kel !

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 6 years ago

Fantastic series Kel!!!

Bhagya Herath
Bhagya Herath 6 years ago

Oh God this is scary.... awesome find Kel....

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 6 years ago

Second pic is scary!
Nice series Kel :)

DanielePralong 6 years ago

Fantastic series!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Limacodidae - how do you put 9 pics ??

SG in CR
SG in CR 6 years ago

Seems pretty similar to the caterpillar in my spottings, and

StephenSolomons 6 years ago

really nice series! Is it a little alien invader? :-)

Spotted by

ES, Brazil

Spotted on Sep 29, 2014
Submitted on Sep 29, 2014

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