the hickory tussock caterpillar

While studying last night I learned that ingestion of the hickory tussock caterpillar causes drooling and diffuse urticaria. What the textbook did not clarify was why anyone would eat this caterpillar. Anyone know? The caterpillar is found in the eastern US.

I have no idea. The hairs…ugh…

I think the only answer is that if something is (or appears to be) edible, eventually someone will be desperate or curious enough to eat it.

Infants - First thing, in the mouth!

The next topic was blister beetle exposures including “spanish fly” which is apparently supposed to be an aphrodesiac. So I was wondering if there was something similar with the caterpillar where people deliberately eat it for some superstitious or traditional medicine reason.