The Most Dangerous Caterpillar in the USA

2 June 2016

Look but don’t touch! This caterpillar may look something like a tribble from Star Trek but do not let appearances be deceptive.  While it looks cute and fluffy this is the most dangerous stinging caterpillar in the USA.   It is the larvae of the southern flannel moth (Megalopyge opercularis), also known as the puss caterpillar: we can only imagine it’s called that because of the copious amount of puss that will pour from your wound if you get stung by one. Or it could be because someone thought it looked like a cat. Who can say?

Whatever the origins of its alternative name, our sibling site, the Ark in Space has a feature on this and the other stinging caterpillars of the USA.  They do look a little scary, I have to admit!



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