Exotic Pest Reporting
Christi Jaeger, Mississippi Entomological Museum
Nettle caterpillar (Darna pallivitta) is an insect pest of palms, grasses, and lilies. It is a native of China and was first detected in Hawaii in 2001.
The larvae of this moth has stinging hairs which can irritate skin and eyes so touching the caterpillar should be avoided. It can be found on many genera and families of plants. Because D. pallivitta flies well, it is expected to slowly spread and form satellite colonies as it has in Hawaii.