[LEPS-L:7956] Something else occured to me.

jandwdic at postoffice.swbell.net jandwdic at postoffice.swbell.net
Tue Nov 21 17:26:51 EST 2000

   Something else occurred to me. I saw a documentary about an expedition
that retraced the footsteps of an expedition taken by Teddy Roosevelt down a
river in South America somewhere. I think it was a tributary of the Amazon,
but I can't remember for sure.
   Anyway, two of his men got stung by something fierce. They were virtually
incapacitated by it. If I remember right, they never figured out what had
stung them. That's exactly what happens with most asp stings because it
takes a few moments for it to start stinging. Chances are if you are walking
you will never see what stung  you.
   Since the article I gave a link for, says that the species lives in South
America too.
   I wonder if that is what got them? The sting they recieved was enough to
make a prominent entry in Teddy Roosevelt's diary, and it seems that the
whole expedition started going awry at about that point. If they never
figured out what stung them, I may have an answer for them. Not being from
the south, Teddy Roosevelt may have had no experience with asps.

jandwdic at postoffice.swbell.net wrote:

>    Thanks to this newsgroup for all you help.
>    Now I know what those little devils are called. And for the first
> time in my life I know what the full grown moth looks like. I was very
> familliar with them at the time, but had no idea that the moth and
> caterpillar were related.
>    For those of you who are interested in knowing about the little
> monster we in Texas called asps, I have included these links. I hope
> they work.
>    I was not suprised to read that the Puss Moth caterpillar (Megalopyge
> opercularis) was listed as our most dangerous stinging caterpillar.
> Having been stung by one, I can testify to the agony they can inflict. A
> wasp or bee sting is tame by comparison.
>    Here are the links for those of you who are interested.
>    The "Asp" or Megalopygidae opercularis (Puss Moth caterpillar, or
> Southern Flannel Moth)
> http://www.ag.auburn.edu/dept/ent/bulletins/caterpillar/caterpillar.htm
>    (You will find it listed as the Puss Caterpillar (photo 7)
>    If you decide to try to collect one of these little buggers, be very
> careful. because if you find one, you may be standing right under a tree
> where one is about to drop on you. That is how they sting you; by
> accident due to their clumbsiness. Just looking at the pictures of the
> moth and caterpillar makes chills go up and down my spine.
>    Here is a link for the picture of the full grown moth. They are
> harmless. I remember catching them in our windowsills, but I had no idea
> they were related to the Asp. Now that I know; just looking at the moth
> gives me chills. They have large black eyes and what looks like a fur
> collar around their necks. I remember that they were so delicate that if
> you caught one, the wings would just about fall apart.
>    Here's a link for the full grown moth:
>    http://members.fortunecity.com/belizemoths/images2/megope.htm
>    It doesn't suprise me that they are natives of Central America. They
> seem more like something one might find in a jungle where strange and
> dangerous species are more common. But they were a common phenomenom in
> the city neighborhoods where I grew up.


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