Caterpillars of the moths of the genus Lonomia are probably the most dangerous caterpillars in the world accounting for more than 350 d**ths between 1989 and 2005.
Butterflies are beautiful but some of their larvae, called caterpillars are very dangerous and can lead to d**th within minutes of being exposed to the hairs. The most dangerous caterpillars in the world are those of moths belonging to the genus Lonomia which can cause d**th within minutes of exposure to the venom found in their hairs. These caterpillars are said to have led to more than 350 d**ths between 1989 and 2005. Caterpillar hair generally contains venom which can cause dangerous problems to human health including: -
1. Dermatitis – Caterpillar hairs are known to result in erosive skin inflammation or dermatitis which may damage the aesthetic value and texture of the skin.
2. Urticaria – A type of dermatitis occurring on the skin in which rashes occurring as reddish and raised itchy bumps that are very painful.
3. Osteochondritis – Some caterpillars are known to cause the inflammation of bone and cartilage.
4. Coagulopathy – Some caterpillars cause a bleeding disorder in which blood clotting mechanisms fail leading to excessive loss of blood.
5. Internal hemorrhage – Some species like those of the genus Lonomia have caterpillars that cause intracranial hemorrhage, leading to d**th within thirty minutes.
6. Renal failure – The Lonomia genus has several species of moths whose caterpillars are toxic enough so as to cause kidney failure and eventually d**th.
7. Conjunctivitis – The sharp hairs found on caterpillars can enter the skin and membranes such as those in the eyes leading to inflammatory reactions.