Currently viewing the category: "Asps and Flannel Moth Caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cool bug
Location: Sedona Az
October 6, 2015 1:26 pm
Very cool hairy bug. What is it?
Signature: Craig

Asp

Asp

Dear Craig,
At first we thought this was an Asp, the stinging caterpillar of a Southern Flannel Moth,
Megalopyge opercularis, however that species is found in the south from Texas eastward, according to BugGuide.  We also learned on BugGuide that there are two related and similar looking species found in Arizona, and we are confident your caterpillar belongs to either Megalopyge bissesa or Megalopyge lapena, and though neither has a common name, and since we suspect that their respective caterpillars are also capable of stinging, we believe Asp is also an appropriate common name for their caterpillars.  Of Megalopyge bissesa, BugGuide notes:  “The known larval hosts include Quercus oblongifolia (Mexican blue oak) and Arctostaphylos sp. (manzanita).” 

Asp

Asp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpiller with a nasty sting
Location: Mindo Ecuador
April 3, 2015 5:09 pm
Bugman, check out this beauty found while cutting some brush in Mindo, Ecuador. It left some of its fine hairs behind on the branch it was knocked off of. The local guy I hired to help me told me to watch out for these falling on your head when battling the thicket: a sting from this will put you in the house all day with a fever and intense pain. I didn’t test his claim for myself but I did manage to get these pictures.
Signature: PDB

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Puss Moth Caterpillar

Dear PDB,
This really is a beautiful caterpillar, and it is a wonderful choice to celebrate the 20,000th posting on our site, quite a milestone that fills our tiny staff with immense pride.  At first we thought this must be a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae because of its resemblance to a Monkey Slug from North America, but our search eventually brought up an image of a Puss Moth Caterpillar
(Oruga de Polilla Gato) in the family Megalopyge on FlickR where it states:  “The’hairs’ are very urticant and touching them produces strong reactions that may include hospitalization”.  Puss Moth Caterpillars from North America are also stinging caterpillars that are commonly called Flannel Moth Caterpillars or Asps.  We then tried searching the Monkey Slug genus Phobetron and found an individual from Suriname posted on Flickr, and after careful consideration, we cannot say for certain in which family your caterpillar should be classified, but we are leaning towards the family Megalopyge.  We then found an excellent image by Andreas Kay matching your caterpillar on FlickR, but alas, it is only identified as a Stinging Flannel Moth Caterpillar in the family Megalopygidae.  The best visual match we located was taken by Shirley Sekarajasingham and posted to FlickR, but again, it is only identified to the family level.  Perhaps one of our readers would like to continue searching for a genus or species match for our 20,000th posting.

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Oruga de Polilla Gato

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Houston tx
November 21, 2014 11:19 pm
We found on patio and would like to know what it is. Is it dangerous,poisonous, etc.
Signature: Cc

Asp

Asp

Dear Cc,
Your image is quite blurry, but this appears to be an Asp, the stinging caterpillar of a Southern Flannel Moth.  The Asp is notorious in the south where its sting is reported to be quite painful.
  Additional information on the Asp is available on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hairy Catepillar
Location: Berbice, Guyana
February 3, 2014 10:17 am
Found this hairy caterpillar on a garage near mango trees in Berbice, Guyana. The locals said it was very poisonous and said the hairs would cause swelling and a rash. They said those who have touched them need immediate medical attention. Not sure if it was true, but I still kept a safe distance. Could you identify what type of caterpillar this is? Thanks.
Signature: TKozza

Flannel Moth Caterpillar

Flannel Moth Caterpillar

Dear TKozza,
The locals were wise to warn you about this stinging Flannel Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Megalopyge.  It is our understanding that the sting can be quite debilitating.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Furry Slug Fish
Location: Houston, TX
November 4, 2013 3:56 pm
This furry slug like animal was attached to our trash can outside. Texas (Houston ) Fall early November weather. The animal is about 2” long and about 1/4- 1/2 ” diameter. Furr is a greyish salt an pepper tan color with a tail that is fish shaped but consisting of Furr.
Signature: -stumped in Houston

Asp

Asp

Hi stumped in Houston,
This stinging Southern Flannel Moth Caterpillar is commonly called an Asp.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Asps / Flannel Moth caterpillars…interesting colors
Location: Kyle, Texas
October 29, 2013 10:40 am
Greetings from Kyle, Texas!
This past weekend one of my kids found one of these asps crawling across our porch. It was a buff color and the largest I had ever seen. I captured it in a jar and then gave my kids (and the neighbor kids who were also there) a lesson that these are stinging caterpillars (in the glass jar we could actually see the stingers which are close to the feet) and never to be picked up or played with. We looked it up here at WTB of course, so everybody was well versed on these cute untouchables.
Then, this morning my youngest child who is four, came in saying that he’d found another one and sure enough he had found the darker one on our garage, very close to our rose bushes. On closer inspection, I found the orange one actually on the rose bushes. We decided to remove them and take some photos because of the color variations and also because they are very large…the jar lid they are occupying in the pics are three inches in diameter. To keep them and my kids safe, I put them in our compost pile where I put the other one from Saturday.
Thank you so much for your wonderful site!
Signature: M. family in Kyle

Asps

Asps

Dear M. family,
Thanks so much for sending us your photo of the color variations in Asps, the stinging caterpillar of the Southern Flannel Moth.  We are happy to hear our site was helpful.  We are postdating your submission to go live in early November while we are out of the office.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination