Don’t Play Around with The Puss Caterpillar


This morning was the first time that I’ve seen a Puss Caterpillar. What’s so special about this type of caterpillar? It is EXTREMELY poisonous. The Puss Caterpillar, also known as The Puss Moth Caterpillar, The Asp and the Southern Flannel Moth.

As a homeschooling family, we like to explore the outdoors, but when my husband took the kids out this morning to explore he found this cute little caterpillar wandering around. It was fuzzy and only about one inch long. It should be harmless, right? Underneath the fuzzy hairs are spines that are attached to poison glands. What?

Here in Florida, I’m used to Palmetto Bugs and mosquitoes but I hadn’t heard of this type of poisonous caterpillar before today. I found a few articles online that give us a few more details about this caterpillar and what to do if you are on the receiving end of the poison.

Puss Caterpillar from the University of Florida website.

The Asp from Science, Space & Robots.

The Southern Flannel Moth from the University of Florida website.

Warning from Florida Poison Control

While it’s fun to observe nature and find new things outside, be very careful before you touch something you’ve never seen before. You never know what could happen. I know that we’ll still explore the great outdoors, but we’ll be extra cautious around these creatures.

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  1. Wow- I didn’t know they even existed and probably would not have thought twice about touching it. Shows that things are not always what they appear to be.

  2. I’ve never seen one like that! I know they can be harmful though. The ‘fuzzy caterpillars’ here have caused rashes.