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  • Hag Moth - (Phobetron pithecium)

    Hag Moth - (Phobetron pithecium)

    The distinctive Hag Moth has an even more unusual caterpillar that rendered the need for its own name: Monkey Slug.

    Staff Writer (8/27/2014): The Hag Moth is a member of the Slug Caterpillar Moth family. Many of the larvae (caterpillars) of these moths are visual oddities. Tentacle-like arms extend and reach as the caterpillar crawls, giving the appearance of a terrestrial octopus. These lobes are delicate and a few may be missing. Though other hairy caterpillars have a reputation for prickly defenses, this caterpillar does not sting. The caterpillars of this family attract more interest than the adult moths.

    Hag Moths are extremely furry. Tufts of hair extend from every leg. Both genders are a dark mottled brown though males have translucent wings. Females are larger than males and have light ivory hair on their legs while males do not . Adults are rarely seen but can be found in forests, woods and fields from late spring through summer.

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    Details of the:
    Hag Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Hag Moth
    Scientific Name: Phobetron pithecium
    Other Names: Monkey Slug Caterpillar

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Limacodidae
           Genus: Phobetron
            Species: pithecium

    Size (Adult, Length): 20mm to 28mm (0.79in to 1.10in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, black, white, tan

    Additional Descriptors: hairy, furry, fuzzy, weird, legs, flying, tentacles, arms, octopus

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Quebec

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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