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Asps

Posted by Dennis H 
Asps
October 08, 2020 05:28PM
Haven't seen these in years around Dallas.
Asps
Re: Asps
October 08, 2020 07:16PM
Hi Dennis, This caterpillar is the larva of the "Puss Moth," and is supposed to still be common in the area. Here is an article:

[citybugs.tamu.edu]

When I was a youngster my family had two traumatic encounters with the beasts. First, my younger sister, at 13 yo, got one inside her blouse on her chest. She was screaming and running around the yard frantic. My mother finally literally tackled her, and tried to find out what was the matter. Glenda was wailing and yelling, but then yelled at my mother that, "Nobody is going to look at my t_ts." Then she started screaming again, and tore her blouse off. My mother then saw what was wrong, scraped the caterpillar off with a stick, and treated the area with vinegar, which turned out to be a bit, but only a bit, soothing. Mom got hold of our family physician, who recommended some over the counter soothing lotion, maybe calamine.

I was the next victim. I brushed my hand against a Southern Sugarberry shrub while delivering the DTH. Southern Sugarberry can grow into a large tree, in Texas usually called "Hackberry," and the two are closely related. Asps favor the plant, though they do live on other woody plants as well. I immediately felt a horrible, throbbing, pain that later traveled up my arm to the armpit as my hand and lower arm swelled dramatically. That was early on a Saturday afternoon, and Long Jr. High had a football game that evening with Gaston Jr. High at Franklin Field. I played clarinet in the band and had a special part to play that evening (though the fans wouldn't pay any attention, the other band members would). I was more concerned about missing the band performance than I was about the pain, which was considerable. But by the time of the game, the swelling went down, and the pain had subsided to the point that I could play.

Dave McNeely
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