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Species Megalopyge opercularis - Southern Flannel Moth - Hodges#4647

Pupa - Megalopyge opercularis Southern Flannel Moth - Megalopyge opercularis - Megalopyge opercularis Megalopyge opercularis Flannel moth caterpillar - Megalopyge opercularis Puss Moth Caterpillar - Megalopyge opercularis Puss Caterpillar/larval form of the Pussy Moth - Megalopyge opercularis - Megalopyge opercularis Unknown - Caterpillar of Moth? - Megalopyge opercularis Southern Flannel Moth - Hodges #4647 - Megalopyge opercularis - male
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Zygaenoidea
Family Megalopygidae (Flannel Moths)
Genus Megalopyge
Species opercularis (Southern Flannel Moth - Hodges#4647)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Puss Caterpillar, Asp
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Megalopyge opercularis (J.E. Smith)
Orig. Comb: Phalaena opercularis J.E. Smith 1797
* phylogenetic sequence #140625
Explanation of Names
Puss Caterpillar refers to cat-like form of caterpillar, perhaps. Asp refers to sting of caterpillar, is a local name used in Texas (1).
Wingspan 24-36 mm.
Larvae to 30 mm.
Note orange thorax and base of forewings. Sexually dimorphic.
Female (thread-like antennae) has weak markings, though is still yellowish:

Male (feathery antennae) has stronger markings:

Caterpillar is densely covered with gray to tan hairs, which form a rusty-red crest along the back. Unlike the similar Lagoa crispate, it has a tail-like tuft of hairs that stick straight out from the rear end, extending for a length greater than two body segments. (1):
Deciduous forests and adjacent areas
mostly: May-Oct; all year in TX, FL (MPG data)
Life Cycle
Larvae feed on a variety of deciduous trees
Caution, caterpillars have painful sting.
See Also
Black-waved Flannel Moth - Megalopyge (Lagoa) crispata
Print References
Wagner, p. 55--photo of larva (two different instars), adult (1)
Covell p. 412, plate 56 #12 (2)
Wagner, p. 90--description (3)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - species account with collection map and photos of pinned adults.
Georgia Leps--shows male and female
Works Cited
1.Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2005. Princeton University Press.
2.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
3.Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
David L. Wagner, Valerie Giles, Richard C. Reardon, Michael L. McManus. 1998. U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.