Thorny caterpillars: a potentially deadly venom | The USA Print

species Lonomiaa spiny caterpillar discovered in French Guiana and South America, worries scientists. In their study published in the Public Library of Science, specialists insist on the serious threat what these new caterpillars represent for humans. In fact, they found the deadly venom she possesses, if support is not immediate after contact. Lonomia caterpillars live in colonies and are inactive during the day, motionless on tree trunks and waking up at night to feed on tree leaves (source 1).

A significant hemorrhagic syndrome due to venom

The venom of these critters can cause severe hemorrhagic syndrome because of the haemotoxic spines covering the caterpillars. The hemorrhagic syndrome is accompanied kidney failure, brain damage and can go as far as death.

“Accidents involving humans occur when human skin comes into contact with the spine of the caterpillar which then releases its venom. They usually occur during the day when people come into contact with the caterpillars resting against the trees. The researchers also noticed that the Lonomia caterpillars, originally located in forest areas, are gradually moving towards urban settings, near houses or oil palm plantations, which could make them an occupational hazard.” , explain the specialists.

They discovered that there are not only two subspecies of the Lonomia caterpillars, but 60 species, among, 7 are suspected or known to cause severe envenoming in man.

A start of antivenom

“Although accidents with poisonous caterpillars are not considered neglected tropical diseases, their epidemiological patterns correspond to these, in that they affect impoverished communities and face great challenges in diagnosis and treatment,” the researchers conclude.

#Thorny #caterpillars #potentially #deadly #venom