7 Scary Insects That Will Give You Nightmares

Published May 15, 2014
Updated January 30, 2019

Petrifying Insects: Puss Caterpillar

Puss Caterpillar

Image Source: DFW Urban Wildlife

The puss caterpillar, also known as the southern flannel moth or Megalopyge opercularis, is one of the world’s most venomous caterpillars. Both the caterpillar and moth version of this creepy insect are visually stunning, and are covered in long “fur,” leading to it being called the “puss” caterpillar (as in pussy cat).

Flannel Moth Caterpillar

Image Source: The Dirt Doctor

Puss Caterpillar Insects

Image Source: Fine Art America

However, the puss caterpillar’s “fur” is actually a mass of venomous spines that can cause severe symptoms like burning, swelling, nausea and even blisters. An unsuspecting person or child might pick up the inch-long fuzzy-looking caterpillar, only to find themselves in instant agony. Each spine is hollow and equipped with a venom gland at the base. When a person is stung, these spines must be removed. See the puss caterpillar in action in this short video clip:


Next up: The winner of the Sweet-Sounding Name With A Terrifying Reason Behind It Award…

Kiri Picone
Kiri Picone holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Pepperdine University and has been writing for various digital publishers for more than 10 years.