Currently viewing the category: "Flannel Moths and Slug Caterpillar Moths"
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Subject: What kind of bug is this?
Location: Alabama
September 30, 2015 2:07 pm
Please tell me what kind of bug this is.
Signature: Thank you. Tammy p

Southern Flannel Moth

Southern Flannel Moth

Dear Tammy p,
This is a Southern Flannel Moth,
Megalopyge opercularis, and your individual is a male as evidenced by the feathery antennae and pronounced markings.  Though you might not be familiar with the adult moth, many folks in the South are quite familiar with its larval form, commonly called a Puss Caterpillar or Asp.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution, caterpillars have painful sting.  Occasionally, in outbreak years, puss caterpillars are sufficiently numerous to defoliate some trees (Bishopp 1923). However, their main importance is medical. In Texas, they have been so numerous in some years that schools in San Antonio in 1923 and Galveston in 1951 were closed temporarily because of stings to children (Diaz 2005).”  Images of the Asp are much more common on our site that those of the adult Southern Flannel Moth.  Since it is the first of October, we have selected your submission to be our featured Bug of the Month for October 2015.

Asps from our archive

Asps (image from our archive)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth?
Location: Houston, Texas, suburbs
September 7, 2015 5:25 pm
Hello bugman,
This fuzzy thing was by our front door all day. We live in Houston Texas. The weather has been in the 90s with some humidity and we’ve had rain on and off. The picture I’m attaching was taken around 3pm but my husband said he saw it earlier.
We are thinking its a moth, but we are not bug enthusiasts. My dog likes to stalk house flies.
Thanks!
Signature: Dianna w

Puss Moth

Southern Flannel Moth

Dear Dianna,
This is a Southern Flannel Moth, also called a Puss Caterpillar Moth,
Megalopyge opercularis.  Many folks in the South are more familiar with the stinging caterpillar which is known as an Asp.

Thanks Daniel! I had everyone on Facebook stumped. Have a good day!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yellow Moth?
Location: Maryland, U.S.
April 4, 2015 4:09 am
I found what looks to be some type of moth a few years ago on vacation in Maryland. I was hoping you could help me identify it!
Signature: Anonymous

Puss Moth

Puss Moth

Dear Anonymous,
This is a Southern Flannel Moth or Puss Moth,
Megalopyge opercularis, and though your image is several years old, your identification request is very timely because a Puss Moth Caterpillar or Asp from Ecuador is our 20,000th posting, and yours is our 20,001st.  Read more about the Puss Moth on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: identification
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
November 18, 2014 3:27 am
Good day, I saw this one in my garden on 7th november this year. Later it was on the ground, and an hour later gone. I live in North West Province in South Africa.
Signature: Carla

Probably Flannel Moth

Rayed Slug Moth

Dear Carla,
Your moth bears a striking resemblance to North and Central American Flannel Moths in the family Megalopygidae, and we believe your moth is also a member of that family, however, we are currently unable to verify that identification on iSpot as the site is currently unavailable.  Perhaps when iSpot solves its technical problems, we can provide you with a species name.

Flannel Moth, we believe

Rayed Slug Moth

Baie dankie, saw the answer on ispot: Rayed Slug Moth
Groetjes,
Walter & Carla

Thanks for providing that information so that we can correct the posting of this Rayed Slug Moth from the family Limacodidae.  We are linking to the iSpot page that now includes your sighting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bizarre moth mimicking crayfish
Location: Columbia, NJ
July 1, 2014 5:22 am
We saw this moth on our camper near the Delaware Water Gap, it looked odd, when it flew a short distance and landed it took on a completely different shape…a tiny crayfish! How does a moth evolve to mimick such a creature?
Signature: SeanK

Saddleback Caterpillar Moth looks like Crayfish

Saddleback Caterpillar Moth looks like Crayfish

Dear SeanK,
The illusion you describe is quite effective, and the outline of this moth does look like a Crayfish.  We wish your image had more detail.  Our best guess is possibly a Saddleback Caterpillar Moth,
Acharia stimulea, which is also pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Who dat?
Location: Reston va
June 19, 2014 1:04 pm
My son found this odd critter on our screen. Location- Reston va
Signature: Buggin

Saddleback Caterpillar Moth

Saddleback Caterpillar Moth

Hi Buggin,
We spent many vacations in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Reston because our uncle was one of the first contractors to begin building in the model town, but we haven’t seen it since 1980, and we expect much has changed.  This is a Saddleback Caterpillar Moth as you can see from this matching image on BugGuide.  Though we have not shortage of stinging Saddleback Caterpillar images, this is the first we have posted of the adult moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination