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Black-Waved Flannel Moth (Megalopyge crispata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Black-Waved Flannel Moth.


 Updated: 6/6/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Black-Waved Flannel Moth  
Picture of Black-Waved-Flannel-Moth
Picture of Black-Waved-Flannel-Moth


The luxuriously soft hair on the Black-waved Flannel Moth entices a petting, but its caterpillar's smooth hairs are dangerously deceptive.





Black-waved Flannel Moths are a long-haired, creamy color with three wavy black lines that run along the outer edge of each forewing. Two black splotches follow the end of these lines. Thicker, brown, wavy lines run down the inner part of each forewing. Females are paler than males, which can be yellow in color. The thorax is covered in plush, long hairs and the pale, hairy legs have black feet. The hairs are shiny on the wings, with an almost crimped appearance. They look so soft, they beckon to be touched. Touching the caterpillar form of this moth, however, could mean a hospital visit.

The oval-shaped caterpillar of the Black-waved Flannel Moth is covered in long, orange-brown or white hairs. The white form resembles a tuft of cotton or spent dandelion head. The orange-brown hairs are groomed and lie flat along the caterpillar's body. Regardless of their color, theses are stinging hairs that embed themselves into skin, causing excruciating pain that tends to worsen after initial contact. A red pattern that matches the outline of the caterpillar's body may be visible. Symptoms of the venom injected by the hairs can range from redness, pain that radiates to other body parts, and irritation, to nausea, seizures, and muscle spasms depending on the victim, where they are stung, and how many spines get embedded into the skin. Those with allergies are especially at risk and should contact a physician immediately. Treatments may include using tape to pull off any hairs left in the skin, putting ice on the area, use of hydrocortisone cream, anti-histamines, prescribed painkillers, and/or corticosteroid injections.

Because caterpillars feed on a variety of trees and shrubs, they may be found in areas like parks, playgrounds, backyards, and trails. Teach children to avoid contact with any type of hairy or spiny caterpillar. Awareness of adult moth activity can help keep people alert in areas where a population is present. Adults do not eat, so their presence is a sign of reproduction and a subsequent egg-hatch. In warmer regions, two generations each year may be produced.
Basic Information
Common Name: Black-Waved Flannel Moth
Other Name(s): Crinkled Flannel Moth, White Flannel Moth, Puss Caterpillar
Scientific Name: Megalopyge crispata
Category: Butterfly or Moth


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 40mm (0.86in to 1.56in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: ivory, brown, white, yellow, black
Additional Descriptors: wavy, crimped, furry, hairy, bushy, soft, feathery, flying




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Megalopygidae
Genus: Megalopyge
Species: crispata


Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Black-Waved Flannel Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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