A social media post that shares an image of a greenish insect feeding on a leaf alleges that state horticulturists have issued a warning about this lethal insect, claiming that it can cause death through its sting. Further, the post alerts the farmers about this insect. Through this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Image of a lethal greenish insect which can cause death with a sting.
Fact: The insect depicted in the viral post is identified as the “stinging nettle slug caterpillar.” According to scientists, even if this insect comes into contact with the body, it will only cause itching and burning, with no risk of death. Further, they dismissed claims that the insect is poisonous and that a bite from it can lead to death. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
The insect depicted in the viral post is identified as the “stinging nettle slug caterpillar.” According to the details provided on this website, the spines surrounding this caterpillar serve as a means of self-defense. Touching these spines poses a risk of skin ailments due to the chemicals they contain. However, there have been no reported instances of human fatalities caused by this insect.
In addition, as per news reports, Krishi Vigyan Kendra has dismissed the viral claims stating that the insect is poisonous and that a bite from it can lead to death within five minutes. According to their statement, if the insect comes into contact with the body, it will only cause itching and burning, with no risk of death. The insect is primarily observed in sugar cane fields and orchards.
Previously, Factly has debunked similar claims when certain images went viral in connection with the message. The fact-check article can be read here.
To sum it up, scientists have clarified that the insect depicted in this viral post is not poisonous