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)
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)
TX-FL-NJ, SEAZ (MPG data)
Deciduous forests and adjacent areas
mostly: May-Oct; all year in TX, FL (MPG data)
Larvae feed on a variety of deciduous trees
Caution, caterpillars have painful sting.
Wagner, p. 55--photo of larva (two different instars), adult (1)
Covell p. 412, plate 56 #12 (2)
Wagner, p. 90--description (3)
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.
--shows male and female