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No reports of puss caterpillar sighted in Sabah
Published on: Saturday, February 24, 2024
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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No reports of puss caterpillar sighted in Sabah
Screengrab of the insect (left), which had twice the venom of a cobra (right), from the video went viral on social media. 
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Wildlife Department said it has not received any reports of the puss caterpillar supposedly being sighted in Sabah. 

A viral video cautioned Malaysians, especially those in Sabah, to stay away from the  caterpillar species.

The explanation accompanying the video claimed that children had died as a result of coming into contact with the insect, which had twice the venom of a cobra. 

An internet search showed that the Megalopyge opercularis is a moth in the Megalopygidae family.

It is also known as the puss caterpillar.

It can be found on a variety of plants, including roses and ivy, as well as oak, elm, and wild plum trees.

It is found in the Eastern United States, ranging from extreme southeastern Virginia to Florida, as well as in the Southern United States, Mexico, and Central America.

The caterpillar is considered a dangerous insect because of its venomous spines.

Exposure to the caterpillar’s fur-like spines causes acute skin irritation, resulting in a “grid-like hemorrhagic papular eruption with severe radiating pain.”

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