Science
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty

642px-Megalopyge_opercularisMPCCP20040714-5799A.jpg

Remember seeing this thing on YouTube a while back? A lot of people thought it was fake, but it’s a real critter, an Asp Caterpillar, Megalopyge opercularis, otherwise known as the puss caterpillar. It pupates into an equally adorable moth. It can be found in the southern United States – anyone ever seen one? If you do, don’t touch it! It’s very venomous.

26 thoughts on “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty

  1. If their is a such thing as an Asp Caterpillar, the thing in the video definitely is not it. You can hear the motor whining in the video. Definitely some kind of robot.

  2. Yeah, I’m not at all convinced the thing in the video is an asp caterpillar. It doesn’t really look all that much like any of the images you can easily pull up of one.

  3. Ronnie, did it look like the one in the video?

    Make is about science, too. And Becky pointed out that someone might be inspired to make one of these as a plushie. With LEDs.

  4. I have been stung by a Puss Caterpillar (we call them an Asp). I live in in South East Texas. They HURT, my whole are was swollen. The spine are in the middle of the back and look like fur. I have never seen one where the the legs are visible when they walk. The walking motion is similar to the ones I have seen. I have never seen a moth like the one pictured.

    I do agree not very applicable to Make:

  5. It was exactly the same color; but I don’t think it looked exactly like the one in the video.

    I’ve live near Dallas, TX. It happened when I was a boy while I was playing in the woods by the park.

    Mom treated it with baking soda to reduce the whelp and relieve the pain.

    BTW, I think this is on Make because the video is supposedly of a robot. A robot that small would be hard to make. If you watch it carefully, you can see the movements aren’t exactly repetitious or symmetric. It’s seems like it would be too difficult for a hoaxer to make such a small and sophisticated robot.

  6. So let me get the doubters’ theory straight: You believe that somebody constructed a tiny, detailed robot with incredibly sophisticated movement and realism, and then the makers decided to announce their achievement to the world by way of a fuzzy YouTube hoax video? Wow, that’s an awful long way to go for a gag.

  7. I seriously scrolled up to make sure I was on MAKE’s blog and not National Geographic’s Blog. What if anything does this have to do with Make?

  8. My fiancee took some photos of what the guidebooks say is a puss caterpillar, but it states that the caterpillar will grow up to be a “Southern Flannel Moth”. It looked a bit different (grey in color rather than rust). Not sure if they are in the same family or not…

    Maybe “Puss Caterpillar” is a general name chosen for it’s effects if it stings you…?

    http://flickr.com/photos/questingbeast/2787805702/

    if anyone’s interested.

  9. the robot isn’t really as small as the actual caterpillar….if you reference it’s size compared to the crack in the sidewalk, that would be a huge bug.

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