Asp: Caterpillar of the Southern Flannel Moth

wild larva
Location: Davie, FL
December 12, 2010 2:21 pm
Bugman, I consider myself somewhat of a pro at south florida lepidoptera as i was a professional butterfly breeder for a few years, but I found a larva today that I’ve never seen. While I was excited at seeing something new in my own backyard, not knowing what it is frustrates me to no end! Please help. Found it on the ground under some sea grape and oak trees.
Signature: Brett


Dear Brent,
You have encountered the infamous Asp, the caterpillar of the Southern Flannel Moth,
Megalopyge opercularis.  It gets its common name as it is quite capable of delivering a painful sting.


Thanks very much for your confirmation.  Shortly after emailing you I figured it out, but thanks very much for your help anyway!  You provide a great service.

4 thoughts on “Asp: Caterpillar of the Southern Flannel Moth”

    • nothing I’ve read says to smash it on the spot.

      The recommendation is to stick tape to the area and remove repeatedly to pull out all the “hairs” from the skin as soon as possible

      Medical attention might be needed if the reaction degrades from “painful sting, swelling and redness” into any kind of respiratory difficulty.


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