Fun Hag Moth Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Hag Moth Facts For Kids

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Slug caterpillars belong to the family Limacodidae of caterpillars, which come in a variety of shapes and colors.  One such moth is the hag moth (Phobetron pithecium), which can be found all over eastern North America. These are found in shades of trees in fields, woods, and forests. It generally feeds on trees and ornamental shrubs. The translucent insect may be hairless or densely hairy, and their hairs usually sting. They're most commonly found in the late summer season. They are mostly found on their own and in areas such as Nebraska, Quebec, and Maine. Leaves of trees like ash, apple, cherry, birch, dogwood, chestnut, oak, hickory, walnut, persimmon, and willow are among the deciduous trees and shrubs that the slug caterpillars consume as well as where they reside.

The hag moth larvae or the monkey slug caterpillar is one of the most widely recognized caterpillars. They are very interesting-looking caterpillars. With a variety of colors and three long arms, they resemble a tarantula spider making them look scary and intimidating. This monkey slug caterpillar turns into a hag moth much like how the saddleback caterpillar turns into a slug moth.

If you enjoyed reading about the monkey slug caterpillar, then you will also enjoy our articles on atlas beetles and gypsy moths

Fun Hag Moth Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Numerous eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

0.7-1.1 in (20-28 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Tan, White, Brown, Black

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Loss Of Habitat

What is their conservation status?

Not Listed

Where you'll find them?

Forests, Fields, Woods


Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, Nebraska









Hag Moth Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hag moth?

The hag moth is a type of moth.

What class of animal does a hag moth belong to?

A hag moth or a monkey slug belongs to the class Insecta.

How many hag moths are there in the world?

Due to the vast number of eggs this species lays, there are plenty of them in the world.

Where does a hag moth live?

These insects of the order Lepidoptera live on trees and are found on fields, forests, and woods. The hag moth range includes areas like Nebraska, Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida, Quebec, and Maine.

What is a hag moth's habitat?

These insects of the order Lepidoptera are found in shades of trees in fields, woods, and forests. They can be found on trees like spirea, hickories, dogwoods, alder, sassafras, roses, ashes, apple, chestnut, birches, willows, oaks, persimmons, and similar woody plants. They usually feed on trees and ornamental shrubs. They're most commonly found during the late summer season.

Who do hag moths live with?

This species of moth is found to be living on its own.

How long does a hag moth live?

There are different stages in the full life cycle of the hag moth, like larvae, larval, pupal, and adult stages. There could be more than one generation each year.

How do they reproduce?

This family of caterpillars reproduces like any other butterfly or caterpillar. They lay eggs that turn into larva, pupa, and then transform into an adult. The female slug monkey lays numerous eggs at a time generally around summer, spring, or fall. These eggs transform into larvae or the caterpillar. The caterpillar's job is to feed. The caterpillar breaks its skin and sheds it four or five times as it develops. Food consumed at this age is processed and used later in life.  During this stage, the caterpillar can grow up to 100 times its original size. After this comes the pupa stage when the hag moth cocoon hangs from trees or stays hidden in leaves. While this stage might seem boring, there are many big changes going on inside the cocoon. The monkey slug hag moth caterpillar grows special cells that turn into arms, legs, wings, and more.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature, the conservation status of the monkey slug is Not Listed. This means there are enough monkey slugs in the world to constitute a healthy community.  

Hag Moth Fun Facts

What do hag moths look like?

Hag moth facts are highly informative.

The monkey slug is often considered a hairy animal owing to the presence of stinging hairs on its entire body. These insects showcase a wide range of different and bright colors ranging from tan, white, black to reddish-brown. Nine pairs of lateral processes are found on both sides of the insect covered with setae or minuscule hairs. In the hag moth, the third, fifth, and seventh lobes are usually different from the other processes. These are elongated and are often twisted.

How cute are they?

The monkey slug is not considered cute because of its creepy appearance which closely resembles a tarantula.

How do they communicate?

The family of Limacodedae communicates with the help of pheromones. Other than that they use their sense of touch, sight, and smell in order to understand their environment.

How big is a hag moth?

The pictures of this caterpillar and might make it look very big but it is actually tiny. Its length is about 0.7-1.1 in (20-28 mm).  

How fast can a hag moth fly?

While the specific flying speed of the hag moth is unknown the average flying speed of this family of insects is 33.6 mph or 54 kph.

How much does a hag moth weigh?

While the specific weight of the monkey slug is unknown, the weight of this family of moths is about 1oz (28 gm).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female counterparts of the monkey slug.

What would you call a baby hag moth?

The baby or the hag moth baby is known as a larva or more accurately as the monkey slug larva or hag moth larva.

What do they eat?

The monkey slug usually feeds on or consumes leaves of trees like ash, apple, cherry, birch, dogwood, chestnut, oak, hickory, walnut, persimmon, and willow.

Are they poisonous?

The monkey slug is a fairly harmless creature and the idea that hag moths are poisonous is false. The hag moth caterpillar sting does not result in anything deadly or serious. Toxin glands at the base of hag moth caterpillar spines release toxins when they come into contact. Burning or stinging, swelling, redness, and inflammation are some of the symptoms that can occur. When these spines come into contact with your skin, they cause a burning, itching sensation, as well as redness and inflammation, similar to a bee sting. These can be easily remedied with cooling ice packs, paste, and cold water.

Would they make a good pet?

These fuzzy species would not make good pets as they are used to living in the wild eating leaves and plants in forests.

Did you know...

The monkey slug adult is commonly seen from the month of May to October while the slug caterpillar is seen from July to October. They usually hibernate during winter.

What is a hag moth's wingspan?

The wingspan of a hag moth is about 0.79-1.10 inches. (2-2.8 cm)

What trees host hag moths?

Hag moths are found in trees like spirea, hickories, dogwoods, alder, sassafras, roses, ashes, apple, chestnut, birches, willows, oaks, persimmons, and similarly woody plants.

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 the luna moth and the puss moth.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our moth coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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