Megalopyge opercularis

Southern Flannel Moth

Megalopyge opercularis, Southern Flannel Moth image from Mississippi


Family: Megalopygidae

Subfamily: Megalopyginae


The larvae in this family are notable for having eight pairs of prolegs instead of the usual five pairs. Like the adults, larvae in this family are furry in appearance.

The larvae of M. opercularis have stinging hairs, and any humans brushing against the hairs get a painful surprise. For this reason the caterpillars are sometimes called Asp Caterpillars. Because of the larvae's overall furiness they are also called Puss Caterpillars, though other species may also go by that common name.

Range: mid-Atlantic states to Texas and Central America.

Photo data: Neshoba County, Mississippi.

Southern Flannel Moth, Megalopyge opercularis, photo from Mississippi

American Insects site