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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

Colorful Caterpillars of the Jungle.

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

If you thought learning another language was hard, try body language especially when it comes to something or someone so beautiful. Duolingo won't be able to help, shocker I know. That doesn't always stop us from trying and just when you think you think you've figured it out... you get burned.

I don't know about you but these little beauties say: "You can look but you can't touch!" In case you can't control your temptations, you will get stung.

Some of us remember picking up fuzzy caterpillars as kids but in Panama, they are avoided with a respectable distance.

The jungle is a busy place and a never-ending source of wonder with so much to learn about and with so many caterpillars and butterflies constantly flitting about, I thought it was time to share with you some of our frequent flyers.

While most the animals in nature are trying to blend in to avoid their predators, these little fuzzy crawlers are wearing their weapons out in the open (like the poison dart frog) so nothing messes with them as they go about eating all the yummy plants and flowers the jungle provides.

Most caterpillars slowly crawling through the jungle are armed with sharp hairs that secrete a venom that can cause a pretty serious and irritating burn especially for people with sensitive skin. So, how does one avoid that? First, enjoy them from a distance doing their thing like any animal, and don't interact with them. If you do happen to have one accidentally touch your skin, remove it with something other than your hand. If the site of contact starts to burn or itch you can try using a piece of tape to remove their hairs (as many times as necessary) like you would lint on a sweater. Once you have tried that, a baking soda and water mixture applied to the itching/burning area helps soothe the pain and then a hydrocortisone cream should do the trick. If all that fails...let's go visit the pros.

Remember that every caterpillar has its important (more on that next week) purpose and not all caterpillars in the jungle are poisonous but the same goes for snakes, mushrooms, and frogs. It's kind of like too much sun, tequila or fireball - everyone reacts differently so enjoy their resplendence in moderation and all will be well....magical!

Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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