Geographic location of the bug: Taboga Island, off the coast of Panama
Time: 08:49 AM EDT
This specimen was photographed at my parent’s property. I know it is a moth of some type; however, I have searched unsuccessfully for a photograph of an adult specimen to inlude identification.
How you want your letter signed: Nature Enthusiast
Dear Nature Enthusiast,
This is a stinging Flannel Moth Caterpillar, Megalopyge lanata, and it should be handled with extreme caution. According to an article on Research Gate: “Shinney is a colloquial term used to describe a hairy caterpillar in Trinidad and Tobago. There have been at least four instances in 2010 in which people were envenomated by shinneys in the Bon Accord region of Tobago.”
This was not Tobago it was Taboga, Panamá, one of the many islands off the coast of Panamá; but, considered part of the country.
I am sure your identification still remains the same.
Thanks! I will look it up now to find an adult species. Lots of stinging catepillars in Panamá!
We did catch the difference, however, they are in the same general vicinity and insects don’t respect national boundaries anyways. Here is a Google Maps image of the area.
I knew that!! 🙂 I had sent those pictures elsewhere and was not satisfied with their identification.
I am confident with yours and quick too! You certainly know your insects!!
But we didn’t and now we and our readers know the difference and distance between the two islands with transposed letters.
4 thoughts on “Stinging Flannel Moth Caterpillar from Panama locally called Shinney”
Panama or Trinidad and Tobago. My little daughter got stung yesterday ( 07 July 2022) by that exact creature and we live on the North Coast of Trinidad and Tobago. I found this convo because we had to do an emergency google search of the caterpillar to know what to do because she was screaming her head off.
Good day. What did you do ? I think my son may have been stung by one
I got stung by this said shinny today 30th August 2022 in Trinidad in the St.James area and it hurt like hell then a numbness in my arm a few hours well.
I got stung yesterday morning in my 30 October 2022 home got hospitalized