Flannel moth

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

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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.

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