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Asp or Puss Moth Caterpillar

Megalopyge opercularis

Description:

Puss moth caterpillars are teardrop-shaped, and, with their long, silky hairs, resemble a tuft of cotton or fur. Their color varies from yellow or gray to reddish-brown, or a mixture of colors. The mature larva is 1 to 1 1/2 inches long with seven pairs of prolegs (suction-cup like claspers on the rear of the body). The adult moth has blunt wings covered with long, wavy hair and a wingspan of 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Wings are orange at the base, fading to cream-colored at the tips. Among the long body hairs are shorter spines that discharge venom upon contact. The head and legs are not visible from above.

Habitat:

Shade trees & shrubbery in Texas

Notes:

One of the most toxic caterpillars in North America

No species ID suggestions

Dallas, Texas, USA

Lat: 33.02, Long: -96.70

Spotted on Aug 21, 2011
Submitted on Jan 31, 2012

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