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Southern Flannel Moth - Megalopyge opercularis - male

Southern Flannel Moth - Megalopyge opercularis - Male
Hwy 55 and Sedwick, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
July 15, 2004
Found at a lighted wall at an all-night self-service car wash. I am presuming this is a male due to the plumose antennae.
Image updated 11/6/21.

Images of this individual: tag all
Southern Flannel Moth - Megalopyge opercularis - male Southern Flannel Moth - Megalopyge opercularis - male

i was strung also.
I agree that this larva is dangerous. The worst pain I ever had. Put my left hand down on the grass to support myself as I was getting up from the lawn. Got strung on the little finger. Within five minutes I felt a stabbing pain in my armpit and my little finger was swollen to the point that I could not bend it. I took benadryl and went to bed at five o'clock PM. The day was over for me.

That sounded horrible. I've read about the flannel moths and the caterpillars and I think the defense is pretty cool but getting stung by the moth or the caterpillar or both is not so pretty. Sorry to hear that you got stung.

This thing is amazing. I hope I can find one some day.

Puss Caterpillar-flannel moth
Lynette, if your in an area to see one be careful of the larvae. I brushed up against one of these 6 years ago while picking a pear out of my pear tree and was stung. I would have swore someone cut off my finger and was pouring boiling water into it. The pain was unbelievable and the finger immediately began to swell. We scooted 3 of the catepillars off the tree with a leaf and put them in a ziplock bag. The five mile drive to the emergency room was terrifying. The pain like a thermometer moved it's way up my arm toward my heart. As we entered the emergency room I began to feel the pain in my chest and was rushed to a bed. Within minutes I began to have a metal taste in my mouth as I went unconscious. No one knew what they were. It took the head of the emergency room leaving to look it up on the internet. (My husband told me later they used a paper plate and made what looked like a circus tent over the bag with a little sign... "Can you name the animal?") I'm 5 foot tall and was 115 pounds at the time. The entire event took less than 15 minutes until I went unconscious. My hand remained swollen for about a week. With a punch like that, I don't think I'd touch the moth either. I'm terrified of them. It's no wonder they also call them the "ASP" caterpillar in Texas. I was stung in Maryland.

Have you seen this website?

They want to hear from people who have been stung by this caterpillar.

It sounds like you had a terrible experience! I definitely don't touch any hairy caterpillars, since I know some can sting. Thanks for the warning and for sharing your story.

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