Puss Moth Caterpillar, Asp, Southern Flannel Moth (Megalopyge opercularis)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Megalopygidae
Genus: Megalopyge
Species: opercularis


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida
Brooker, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
North Port, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Dallas, Georgia
Worden, Illinois
Houma, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Raeford, North Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Lyman, South Carolina
Denton, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Seabrook, Texas
Spring, Texas
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Members' Notes:


On Aug 26, 2014, valhh from North Port, FL wrote:

I found one of these on my lemon tree last summer. It was the first one I had ever seen, but because I had experienced being stung by a saddleback caterpillar in Georgia some years back, I was careful not to touch it.


On Jul 20, 2009, DanKistner from Winter Haven, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Nasty little thing. Laid my arm on one (thought it was an old pumpkin seed) hurt like the dickens. It caused pain to shoot through my entire arm and cause my heart to start beating erratically. Ended up going to the emergency room. One stung a co-worker of my dad and gave him a seizure. Once again, NASTY! I was given multiple shots and steroids. They also gave me a pretty hefty dose of some sort of pain killer which knocked me out so i slept through the rest of the pain ha ha ha.


On Nov 12, 2007, GrammaM from Worden, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

I was stung by a Flannel Moth larvae more than 20 years ago, but remember the pain still! I was trimming limbs from sassafras along our road in Madison Co., IL in late August. I took hold of a branch and felt a stabbing pain in my left hand between my ring and middle fingers. Searching through the leaves, I discovered the furry caterpillar. I started walking toward the house which was about 500 feet away. Before I got that far, the pain had migrated up my arm to my elbow and my fingers were swollen. A few minutes more and the pain had reached my armpit and shoulder. At that point, the progression stopped and I had no further symptoms except the pain which kept me from sleeping all night. My usual remedy for bee sting, a paste of baking soda, had little effect, nor did ice help. I had to ke... read more


On Oct 29, 2007, MiniSchnuz from New Iberia, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Not same color as this one but I got contacted with a puss cateripllar yesterday.. Warning! Very Painful for hours! It feels like burns from a fire but it keep burning for more than 5 hours. For me. It's almost 12 hours. It can cause weak, nausea, swollen, numb. This kind is very posionious than all the cateripllar.