This larva was found crawling on the ground in savanna habitat near Kiserian, Magadi Road, Kenya. Dec. 2015.
For the majority of Lepidoptera, butterflies and moths, it is the adult form that is the most distinctive or beautiful in appearance to people. For species of the moth family Limacodidae it is the immature form called a caterpillar, or more correctly larva that is brightly colored. In this case beauty is connected to danger because these insects possess some powerful stinging hairs. If a bird or curious primate so much as touches one of these uniquely marked worms, an indelible message will be imprinted in its memory: DO NOT TOUCH! The pattern will be remembered and the warning heeded. Limacodids often are decorated with bizzare projections and shapes making them favorites with macrophotographers.
Limacodidae -- Slug Moth Family
Kenya Natural History
Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 17 Feb. 2016