Habitat: widespread in northern Australia
Status: No Conservation Concerns
This amazingly fierce-looking caterpillar is the larva of the Wattle Cup Moth (Calcarifera ordinata). It undergoes a remarkable transformation from being brightly colored with spots of blue and red and streaks of yellow and green to a dull cream color (shown below). The caterpillars resemble slugs in their movements, using their sticky undersides to pull themselves along.
You may want to handle this beautiful caterpillar… but definitely DO NOT! Those spines along its body give off an incredibly potent sting which has been described as “worse than three wasp stings.” Not something you’d want to experience, I’m thinking.