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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Puss Moth Facts You’ll Never Forget

Puss moth facts will make you fall in love with them.

Insects are a really important part of our environment. They help keep the balance of nature right. Some insects can be scary or might even seem gross but there are some beautiful ones out there that you should definitely see if you get the chance in your life. One among these beautiful ones out there is the puss moth (Cerura vinula). Puss moth is a stuffed toy-looking insect that will just melt your heart when you see it. They have gray and black marble markings on their white body, which is covered with wonderfully soft hairs like cat hairs. But don't go for their look, they can be quite vicious when they feel threatened. They are also poisonous. If they feel threatened, both the puss moth caterpillar and the puss moth itself can release formic acid from their body, which is like bee stings. If it stings you, that can cause you redness, rash, burning, and pain. Some might even feel swelling, nausea, headache, or respiratory issues. If you are allergic, it might even cause you to have anaphylactic shock which can result in death. These beautiful insects can only be dangerous to us only if they feel threatened. So, let's try to save them rather than make them feel unsafe on their home planet. Let's keep our planet and environment balanced. Keep on reading to know more about this beautiful species. If you like this article, then check out western conifer seed bug and Green June beetle facts.


Puss Moth Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a puss moth?

Puss moths (Cerura vinula) are a kind of unique-looking insect that will probably not gross you out when you first see them.

What class of animal does a puss moth belong to?

A puss moth is a part of the Insecta class of animals.

How many puss moths are there in the world?

The puss moth is a seasonal insect that stays in a particular climate area. The exact number of this insect is currently unknown. The insects including puss moths help keep the balance of the environment. In the past few years, many insects have lost their homes and their numbers have also been declining over it, which can cause a problem.

Where does a puss moth live?

Puss moths stay in a certain habitat, which is not a hot climate. They can be seen seasonally throughout all of Europe. A number of them can be seen in the British Isles when the season comes which is very common. But the numbers of them are decreasing in the north. They can also be seen in parts of Asia. Mainly from temperate Asia to China. The only other place they can be seen in is the northern part of Africa.

What is a puss moth's habitat?

It's very common to see a puss moth live their entire lives on their food plants. These insects only eat the leaves of certain trees, so they stay near wooded areas or gardens and places with a lot of trees.

Who do puss moths live with?

Puss moths are rather solitary beings. They don't usually stay with their own breeds either. They see humans and other big animals as threats, which for most of the time is true.

How long does a puss moth live?

The puss moth lifespan is very short. The time duration of their lifespan is about three to five months. Their one generation can be seen flying in one season of the year. So, we can understand how short their life is according to that.

How do they reproduce?

The adult female puss moths lay a small number of eggs on the leaves. The eggs are usually very low in numbers and yellowish-orange in color. The eggs usually hatch in about two weeks. Out of each eggs comes a puss moth caterpillar. Within a week, the caterpillars change and get their color of green, brown, and yellow. Within a month, the caterpillars are usually fully grown and the red-colored head can be seen. Later when they mature, they make a cocoon and the larva becomes a puss moth in the spring.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the puss moth is Not Listed. Even though we don't know their record, at least we know they are a common species in some places and that they are not going extinct.

Puss Moth Fun Facts

What do puss moths look like?

Puss moths are medium-sized moths that are fluffy. The head, body, and thorax of these moths are soft. It's full of fur and hair like cats. The color is mostly white, along with black and gray marble markings all over them.

Their caterpillars are usually yellow, green, and brown colored. These yellow, green and brown colors make them camouflage themselves within surrounding greens.

Puss moths have cat-like soft fur.

How cute are they?

They might seem like the cutest of fluffy toys but don't go trying to cuddle them. The way they are covered with fluffy hairs, they can appear the cutest of all moths but they can be harmful if they sense danger. The stings can cause pain and the pain usually feels similar to a bee sting.

How do they communicate?

Insects communicate in many ways like rubbing some body parts together to make sounds. Some of the moths even make ultrasonic sounds to communicate with each other.

How big is a puss moth?

The puss moths have the wingspan of 2.3-3 in (5.8-7.5 cm). They are medium-sized but they are very beautiful looking. The male puss moth is usually a bit smaller than the females.

How fast can a puss moth fly?

Moths fly and make sense of their surroundings by their antennae. Scientists have figured out that they use it as spatial orientation sensors when flying. While we humans keep ourselves steady with the help of our eyes and ear canals, they don't always work for moths so they usually have neurological systems and organs to help them with movement and speed. The exact speed at which they fly is unknown.

How much does a puss moth weigh?

Puss moths are little and lightweight insects. Their exact weight is thus unknown.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Moths don't have any different names for their males and females.

What would you call a baby puss moth?

Adult female moths lay eggs and from each of those eggs comes a puss moth caterpillar. When the puss moth caterpillar is fully grown, it makes a cocoon surrounding itself, and then the puss moth caterpillar changes inside that cocoon and the larva becomes the puss moth in the spring. So, basically, the hatchling is called a puss moth caterpillar.

What do they eat?

Puss moths are generally herbivores. Their food is the leaves of certain plants or trees, mainly the leaves of willow and poplar trees. Some of the moths spend their entire lives on these trees.

Are they loud?

Puss moths are absolutely not loud. Some moths can make ultrasonic sounds and they communicate with each other that way but humans have always been unable to hear that sound. Also, the flapping of their wings in the air doesn't produce that much sound that it could be called loud.

Would they make a good pet?

It's recommended that you don't try to keep them as pets. These insects are not aggressive in nature but they have a nature-given defense for when they feel threatened and you might just seem like a threat to them. Firstly, the caterpillars have the color to camouflage themselves among the leaves. Secondly, it waves its whip-like appendages that are on their tail to warn and if that doesn't work, both the caterpillars and moths can squirt formic acid which is similar to what's found in bee stings, which can cause intense pain. So, we think they're better left in the wild where they can't sting.

Did you know...

The flight period of the puss moth is somewhere from April to the month of August.

The puss moth eggs are approximately 0.059 in (0.15 cm) in size.

Puss moths eat wood and mix it with their silk while making their cocoons. This results in their cocoon being waterproof and these cocoons being one of the strongest ones among all the moth species.

The changes the puss moth caterpillars go through are called 'instars'.

Which states in the US have puss moths?

The south of the United States, mainly the southeastern parts of the United States usually have puss moths.

Where does the puss moth get its name from?

Puss moths have a very soft fur covering them which is like that of cat hairs. That's how these moths got their name of puss moths.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including earwig, or millipede.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Puss moths coloring pages.

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