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Puss Caterpillar

Family Megalopygidae


Puss Caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis)

Puss Caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis)

Flickr user touterse (CC license)

About this Caterpillar:

This puss caterpillar looks like you could reach out and pet it, but looks can be deceiving. Underneath that long, blond hair, venomous bristles hide. Even a molted skin can cause a serious skin reaction, so don't touch anything that looks like this caterpillar. At its largest, the puss caterpillar grows to just one inch long. Puss caterpillars are larvae of the southern flannel moth.

Where It's Found:

Forests from Maryland south to Florida, and west to Texas.

What It Eats:

Leaves of many woody plants, including apple, birch, hackberry, oak, persimmon, almond, and pecan.


Flannel Moths (Family Megalopygidae)


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