Puss Caterpillar

Puss Caterpillar

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Common names: Puss Caterpillar

Scientific name: Megalopyge opercularis

Region: This Caterpillar is found in southeastern United States.

Life cycle: This insect produces one generation each year, and overwinters in cocoons attached to tree branches.

Physical description: This 1-inch long, broad, flat caterpillar is green to brown with long white to reddish hair that covers stinging spines.  The adult moth is beige with dark markings and a wingspan of 1 inch.  The eggs are laid on the foliage or bark of plants.  Similar insects include the Fall Webworm, Saltmarsh Caterpillar, and the Yellow Woollybear.

Feeding characteristics: This pest attacks some ornamentals, but can be found on orchard trees.  The larvae feed alone on the foliage, but do not harm the plant.

Controls: No controls are necessary.  DO NOT touch this caterpillar, there spines are very poisonous.

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