I saw one of these little babies and thought it was fascinating. Of course I wanted to touch its hair, see if it was a soft as it looked. Luckily I thought best I leave it in peace... it could have rocked mine had I brushed it.
It's hairs are actually poison-filled spines that cause waves of intense pain, rashes, shock, swelling, cramps, nausea and more. They are the most poisonous caterpillars in the US and live in the south, from Texas to Florida and up to Maryland feeding on apple, birch, hackberry, oak, persimmon, almond, pecan, oak, elm and sycamore trees.
If you contact one you have to pull the spines out with tape and seek medical attention.
Something so unusual, so small and oddly pretty is enticing in appearance & I guess they gotta have some defense to keep big human being from toying with it.
3 weeks ago