Touch a venomous asp caterpillar; get ready to scream

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Touch a venomous asp caterpillar; get ready to scream

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A colorful swallowtail caterpillar crawls along a tree branch. Its cousin, the venomous asp caterpillar, packs a particularly painful sting, if touched.

An asp caterpillar, also known as the southern flannel moth caterpillar, found mostly in Texas, Florida and Louisiana, delivers a painful punch, if you touch it.

It’s tempting (really, really tempting) to touch, pick up, pet or poke this furry looking  caterpillar.” If you do, experts with the Austin Zoo warn, you will most definitely regret it. 

National Geographic identifies the fuzzy family of caterpillars that morph into flannel moths as the “most venomous in the U.S.” More casually, the science outlet refers to them as “toxic toupees.”

The insects are also sometimes called “puss caterpillars” because, unarguably, they are fluffy like cats. 

The caterpillars, which prefer hanging out in oak, oleander and plum trees, are active July through November, according to KVUE.

The caterpillar embeds its venomous spines into the skin and can cause “burning pain, swelling, nausea and itching.” 

Some vicitms of this benign, furry-looking catepillar experienced intense pain for longer than 12 hours, National Geographic reported

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