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The hedgehog-caterpillar, Isia isabella S. is commonly classified among the insect pests of garden and field crops, with no direct or indirect pathogenicity for man. It is thickly covered with close-cropped, soft hairs, brownish red along the middle of the body and black at either end. Under the microscope the hair is seen to consist of a main stem with one or two projecting barbs, resembling rose thorns (figure).
A case was recently seen in which the patient inadvertently ate a hedgehog-caterpillar with a spoonful of cabbage. The cabbage was eaten cold, having been cooked the evening before. The patient immediately experienced sharp discomfort in the pharynx and spat out the mouthful of food. In her excitement at finding
Photomicrograph of a barb from the hair of the hedgehog-caterpillar.
a caterpillar she failed to notice whether it was dead or alive. For three days the pain on swallowing was