Word of the day: caltrops
(The word of the day is a random word on a random page of the Torre-Bueno Glossary of Entomology)
Caltrops spines, in larval Limacodidae (Lepidoptera), the branched and otherwise specialized irritating spines.
Limacodids are the slug caterpillars… aptly named because they look like slimy colorful slugs. They have reduced legs and prolegs, and they appear to “ooze” along leaves. They are also adorned with a variety of sharp spines.
Hint, these are unpleasant to get imbedded in your skin. I ran into Euclea obliqua, one of the most striking species here in the northeast, and my hand was swollen and itchy for days.
This is my plush interpretation of the creature, with pom poms instead of clusters of spines.