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The Pine Processionary

procesionaria.jpg

What you see here – if you look closely – is the Processionary Caterpillar (Thaumetopoeidae pityocampa), actually three of them clinging onto each other top to tail.

I think they are rather beautiful little creatures to look at, but hey, don’t ever touch one.

These Pine Processionaries are lethal in many different ways. They can kill a healthy pine tree in three days flat, before they hop onto the next pine tree and finish off that one for seconds.

If you touch them, you will suffer a terrible rash on your skin. If you get them anywhere near your eyes, you will be in serious trouble of pain and irritation.

The Thaumetopoea Pityocampa is considered a pest in Mallorca, and much money is spent by the Consell de Mallorca every year to combat them, not necessarily with all that much success it would seem.

The photo was taken in Los Huertos, near s’Horta, Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: February 23rd, 2008. The time was 14:56:08.

1 reply »

  1. I would like to add, that these caterpillars are very very dangerous for animals!
    Especially your young dogs and cats could try to taste them and the poison will destroy their tongues. You have to go immediatly to the veterinarian, if you see them playing with the caterpillars or tasting them!

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