Flannel Moths (Megalopygidae)

Flannel moths are a family of moths known for their fluffy appearance. The caterpillars are known for their stinging spines.

List of Moths in this Family

Description and Identification


The larvae of these moths are covered with long hairs making them resemble cotton balls, earning them the nickname “puss caterpillars”. Spines are present among these bristles, which can cause irritation and nausea if touched.


The pupae are 1.3-2 cm long and are covered with spines similar to the larval stage.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present. The females have thinner antennae than the males.

Color and Appearance

When the wings are opened, they are brown, yellow, or whitish. When the wings are closed, these colors remain visible.

Average wingspan: 2.4 to 3.6 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: late spring or early summer


The eggs are yellow and 0.12 cm long.

Quick Facts

Other names Crinkled flannel moths
Distribution North America and the New World
Habitat Forests
Lifespan of Adults Not recorded
Predators Birds, some mammals
Host Plants Almonds, apples, hackberries, oaks, oranges, pecan, persimmon, and roses
Adult Diet Does not feed

Did You Know

  • German entomologist Dr Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer first described this family of moths in 1855.