Fluffy caterpillar one of the most venomous in the United States

*Not a picture of the dangerous caterpillar

ByWTOC Staff|October 21, 2020 at 12:53 PM EDT - Updated October 21 at 12:55 PM

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Don’t be fooled by appearances. A fluffy caterpillar is one of the most venomous caterpillars in the United States.

The puss caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis) has hidden toxic spines underneath its fur. According to a report from theCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia, when your skin brushes against the puss caterpillar, the spines break off, releasing an irritating fluid that produces an immediate stinging, burning sensation.

The tourist information page, Explore Beaufort, SC, recently posted about the caterpillar being sighted in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

According to a report from the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida, the puss caterpillar and southern flannel moth is found from New Jersey to Florida and west to Arkansas and Texas.

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Photo: Getty Images

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