The stinging puss caterpillar looks really cute… and stings like heck:
This puss caterpillar was wandering about in my front yard so I carefully caught him on a leaf so Rachel could take some photos.
Don’t touch them. The burning pain is incredible. They can seriously mess you up… we’re talking spider bite, pain-up-your-arm, shakiness, hornets, fire, etc. etc. etc.
Just watch out. They’re easy to miss and they’re hanging out in the woods this time of year.
This caterpillar will eventually pupate and become a Southern Flannel Moth. For more on the stinging puss caterpillar, check this page out.
Florida has a few stinging caterpillars but none of them measure up to the puss caterpillar. They take the pain cake.
I know – I was stung by a puss caterpillar while foraging for wild grapes. The pain started in my hand and radiated up my arm to my armpit. It felt like I had fire inside my arm bones… and my glands started to swell. It was incredible. I was weak, shaky, and the pain didn’t let up for hours… and I could still feel it the next day.
The puss caterpillar is a little monster. They look cute but this is one stinging caterpillar you DON’T want to mess with!