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More Bizarre Bugs ─ Creepy Crawlies No: #4: Pale Tussock Caterpillar

Don’t know about you guys but this fella sure reminds me of The Predator. Remember the famous line?

“What The Hell Are You?”

Watch the Arnie-Alien clip of “What the Hell are You”

Well this ugly fella is a lot less menacing and a lot less smaller. Known as the Pale Tussock or the Dasychira Pudibunda, this is a moth native to Denmark. The bright yellow caterpillars are covered in patches of spiky hair that resemble porcupine quills, and along the centre of their back is another row of hair tufts, one on each segment of its body, culminating in a large black or brown spine at the rear end.

Bristly Baby. The Pale Tussock. (Pic from Wikipedia)
Bristly Baby. The Pale Tussock. (Pic from Wikipedia)

 

From a distance the caterpillar looks like a brightly-coloured baby bottle brush, but up close where you can see those double rows of gnashers, it’s not quite so cuddly. Every now and then, Pale Tussock populations will explode, resulting in a carpet of these caterpillars covering the trees. In 1988, a wave of Pale Tussocks demolished 20 hectares of beech forest in Denmark.

It badly needs dentist work, don’t you think? Full picture of the Pale Tussock from the featured image (Pic from listverse).
It badly needs dentist work, don’t you think? Full picture of the Pale Tussock from the featured image (Pic from listverse).
When he grows up, he will look like an owl complete with beak. (Pic from Flickr)
When he grows up, he will look like an owl complete with beak. (Pic from Flickr)

 

 

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