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Black Waved Flannel Moth (Megalopyge crispata)

The black waved flannel moth is a member of the family of flannel moths. They are found in the United States, along the east coast all the way inland towards Oklahoma. The wavy black lines gracing its forewings have resulted in its name.

Black Waved Flannel Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Megalopyge
  • Genus: Megalopyge
  • Scientific Name: Megalopyge crispata

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

The larva is covered with curly hairs, varying in color from orange-brown to white. Underneath these hairs, the caterpillar’s body varies in color: brown, gray, rusty orange, white, or yellow. The longer bristles help to hide stinging setae which discourages predators.

Black Waved Flannel Moth Caterpillar

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Pupa

Once the larvae reach their final instar, they undergo pupation.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present. The males have feathery, yellow antennae with strong markings, while the females have white, thin antennae with subtle markings. The female moths even have a

Color and Appearance

When the wings are opened,  they are shaded brown, and the forewing has several wavy black lines on its edge, while the hindwings are unmarked. When the wings are closed, the shading remains prominently visible.

The body is small and creamy white.

Average wingspan: 2.5-4 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: May to October

Megalopyge crispata

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Egg

The eggs are laid either on the soil or close to the host plant.

Quick Facts

Other namesCrinkled flannel moth, white flannel moth
DistributionNew Hampshire to Florida, west to Missouri and Louisiana
HabitatDeciduous forests
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
PredatorsBirds, bats
Host PlantsAlder, apple, bayberry, birch, blackberry, oaks, poplars, sassafras, willows, and Prunus species.
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • American entomologist Alpheus Spring Packard Jr first described this moth in 1864.
Crinkled Flannel Moth

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Black Waved Flannel Moth Image

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Black Waved Flannel Moth Picture

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