Sabine stimulea LbNA # 52134
|Placed Date||Jan 15 2010|
|Last Found||Mar 27 2011|
The Sibine stimulea or saddleback caterpillar is primarily green with brown at either end, and a prominent, white-ringed brown dot in the center which resembles a saddle- hence the name. These caterpillars have a pair of fleshy “horns” at either end, and these, like much of the body, bear urticating hairs that secrete an irritating venom. Stings can be very painful. They can cause swelling, nausea, and leave a rash that can last for days. I know this to be true for I have met the saddleback first hand (or should I say left hand----literally).! I’ll speak more about that later.
Paul B. Johnson State Park is located south of Hattiesburg, MS on U.S. 49. It is a great place to camp, hike, fish or just picnic for the day. Go thru the main gate and immediately go to the right. You will quickly come to a gravel area on the right and the left. Park in the gravel area on the right and prepare for a nice, short hike. Proceed thru the wooden trail entrance and follow the trail markers to the left. Continue on the trail until you arrive at the wooden observation tower on the left. Climb up to the observation platform and enjoy the view or stand under the platform at the center facing the water. Look to your left and appx. 30 ft. away you will see twin pine stumps with a felled lighter tree going away from the stumps to the right. In the second stump, under two pine cones, you will find the Sibine stimulea (or a wonderful impostor, thank goodness!).
Note: I met the saddleback up close and personal while climbing up the observation tower. That little fellow was sitting right there on the hand rail and, yes------I put my left hand down and OUCH!!!!!! What the books say about this tiny creature is, oh, so true!!!!!