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Isa textula, Slug Caterpillar

Isa textula, a slug caterpillar. Credit: Donna Freeman

Isa textula, a slug caterpillar.
Credit: Donna Freeman

Fast Fact

“Slug caterpillars” are called so because they move slowly and glide slug-like due to reduced thoracic legs and sucker-like prolegs.


The bodies of Isa textula caterpillars are oval, flattened, and pale green. The front of the body is edged with orange or red. Two pale lines run down the back and terminate in a pair of “horns” at the front and a pair of stinging plumes at the rear of the caterpillar. The caterpillar’s head is hidden from above by the thorax.

Feeding Habits

Isa textula caterpillars feed on many species of trees and shrubs including, but not limited to, cherry, maple, oak, elm, hickory linden, and Prunus species.

Medical Significance

Isa textula caterpillars have plumes of stinging hairs around the perimeter and shorter, less conspicuous stinging hairs down the back that can produce painful stings. Sensitive individuals who develop systemic symptoms are urged to seek immediate medical attention.

For more information, see HGIC 2482, Stinging Caterpillars.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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