Flannel moth

The flannel moths or crinkled flannel moths (scientific name Megalopygidae) are a family of insects. They occur in North America (11 species) and the New World tropics. The larvae are called puss caterpillars, and with their long hairs, resemble cotton balls. They have venomous spines that can cause a painful sting and inflammation lasting for several days. In some cases, the sting may cause headache, nausea, and shock-like symptoms. Perhaps the most notorious for stinging is the caterpillar of Megalopyge opercularis.

Flannel moth
Megalopyge opercularisPCCP20040714-5799B.jpg
Megalopyge opercularis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Megalopygidae
Herrich-Schäffer, 1855

See text

A Megalopyge opercularis caterpillar on Kent Island, Maryland: a highly toxic species



  • Natural History Museum genus database
  • "Insects of Cedar Creek, Minnesota". cedarcreek.umn.edu.
  • BugGuide
  • USGS--Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
  • Auburn University
  • Moths of Borneo—lists the family as neotropical
  • Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension
  • Ohio State University

External linksEdit