There are over 10,000 species of butterflies and moths around the world, so it’s hard to imagine that all of them used to be entirely different animals. Puss caterpillar is a kind of moth. Do puss caterpillars turn into butterflies? No, puss caterpillars turn into a southern flannel moth.
What are Puss Caterpillars?
Puss caterpillar is a type of larva or caterpillar found in South America. The venomous spines that cover its body have been known to cause allergic reactions in some people and should be handled with care. In addition to their spines, puss caterpillars are poisonous because they harbor chemicals that make them distasteful to predators.
This means they’re often able to avoid being eaten long enough to reach adulthood when they transform into moths or butterflies. However, these animals usually don’t develop wings; puss caterpillar larvae have nothing on a butterfly until around 10 days after hatching an egg.
What do puss caterpillars turn into?
The truth is, puss caterpillars don’t turn into butterflies. So, where did they get their name? Back in 1758, Carl Linnaeus first used puss to describe a group of moths.
One of these was called Megalopyge opercularis, and it was named pussy because its furry abdomen reminded Linnaeus of a cat’s tail. The word became synonymous with any small insect (like a caterpillar) that has soft and fuzzy fur (and for some reason pussies are also considered to be unusually cute).
The flannel moth or crinkled flannel moth (scientific name Megalopygidae) is a type of insect belonging to the Lepidopteran order. Around 2,100 types of them are distributed around the world, including the North American and European species Megalopyge opercularis and Megalopyge crispata.
Many of the same species of flora and fauna can be found in the Australian region, but there are more of them there than anywhere else.
What is the life cycle of a puss caterpillar?
All puss caterpillars are part of a species that eventually metamorphose like butterflies. It can take one week to four weeks for a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly or moth—the actual time depends on factors like temperature and humidity levels as well as species and subspecies; some types have multivoltine generations with three life cycles per year while others have only univoltine generations with one life cycle each year (tortricid moths in temperate climates).
Can a Puss Moth Caterpillar kill you?
The puss caterpillar is a species native to Florida and Georgia, though it can be found as far north as Pennsylvania and New York. Of course, most people in these regions will never see a puss caterpillar because they have no interest in looking for an insect that could kill them.
But if you are allergic to insect venom, fury puss caterpillar can send you into anaphylactic shock when you’re stung. In that case, do not touch one—or let it crawl onto your skin by brushing against clothing or tree bark.
Anaphylactic shock sends blood pressure plummeting and can cause fainting, depending on how low your blood pressure gets. You could suffer cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.
Most people believe that puss caterpillars turn into butterflies, but they don’t. The caterpillar in your garden is a puss moth caterpillar, which will one day become a southern flannel moth. While butterflies aren’t one of our native insects, flannel moths are plentiful in North America.
The southern flannel moth gets its name from its puffy white appearance, not because it likes plaid! The southern flannel moth has a silky-smooth exterior and two to four brownish yellow stripes on each side of its body; however, it can look like other types of moths.