Alien caterpillars found on Oahu

June 8, 2007

An invasive caterpillar with a nasty sting has turned up on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

The stinging nettle caterpillar first entered Hawaii through Hilo via an illegal shipment of seedlings from Taiwan in 2001, KITV-TV, Honolulu, reported.

The problem was brought under control around Hilo, but now the pest has jumped to Oahu, where it was discovered last week in a commercial nursery.

"If you rub against the caterpillar, it has a very strong burn (which) can burn for a few hours," said Neil Rheimer of the state Department of Agriculture.

 The state is setting up traps at the nursery to attract the moths that lay eggs and spread the problem. The caterpillars were discovered on raphis palm trees after workers complained about being stung last week.  

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Milkweed plants in CO2 growth chambers provide glimpse of biosphere change

Related Stories

Caterpillars swarm Indonesia's Bali

April 13, 2011

Swarms of caterpillars which can cause skin rashes have invaded the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, an official said Wednesday, but tourist areas have not been affected so far.

Moths tell us how organisms use resources

January 6, 2011

( -- Using a one-of-its-kind flight arena, University of Arizona entomologist Goggy Davidowitz and his group study how giant hawk moths use energy resources for two of nature's most costly evolutionary traits: ...

Scientists chase elusive Poweshiek skipperling butterfly

August 4, 2015

Crunching through waist-high prairie grass, the researchers scan ahead with binoculars. Peering out at the black-eyed susans reaching above the prairie dropseed, they are searching for something they do not expect to find ...

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.