Not All That’s Fluffy is Cuddly: the Pussy Moth

tiny moth

The megalopyge opercularis, also known as tree asp or pussy moth is one of the fluffiest insects I have ever seen! It’s fluffy looks make them seem extra cuddleable, like they belong to an adorable species of moths specifically designed to be cuddled and petted.

In addition to the moths, the larvae look like soft, colorful cotton balls just ready to be picked up!

800px-Megalopyge_l

Unfortunately, in real life these adorable little fur balls are not as cuddly as they seem. Wikipedia explains that:

The ‘fur’ of the larva contains venomous spines that cause extremely painful reactions in human skin upon contact. The reactions are sometimes localized to the affected area but are often very severe, radiating up a limb and causing burning, swelling, nausea, headache, abdominal distress, rashes, blisters, and sometimes chest pain, numbness, or difficulty breathing. Additionally, it is not unusual to find sweating from the welts or hives at the site of the sting. 

Holy sh**! Nothing in there sounds like it should be: I feel like I was just deceived by an adorable little puppy who in the end ran off with all my money and is now occupying my home and wearing my clothes.

But look at how fluffy and adorable they look! Maybe to hug and pet them is worth the pain??

fluffy moth

It’s so fluffy!!!

Thanks to a friend for bringing this adorable pain machine to my attention!

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