Alien Bug: What Is It?

Status: Real (but species unknown)
image This video of an alien-looking bug has already been posted in the forum, but I wanted to repost it here to give it a bit more attention (i.e. for those who read the site via RSS and never check out the forum). Hopefully someone will be able to identify this thing.

I should note that I do think it's a real bug and not something mechanical (as one emailer speculated), but what kind of bug is it? I'm leaning towards it being a variety puss moth. For more bug types to choose from check out: hag moths, and stinging caterpillars. (Thanks to hulitoons for the links)


Posted on Fri Jul 28, 2006


Dang, looks like it's underwater when it moves. That's the crazy thing about bugs, you never see so many that you can't see another one and have your mind blown. There's always one that looks wildly different.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  03:05 AM
I think the unfocused camera contributes to its alienness, though.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  03:07 AM
Very useful pages with friendly moderator/commentators about weird bugs:
Posted by cvirtue  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  04:10 AM
My favourite site!
I've already sent them an email to ask for help in identifying the bug, I will post back if and when I get an answer.
Posted by StarLizard  in  Quebec, Canada  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  09:23 AM
No, it's real. I once saw something like that crawling in my backyard, scared the crap out of me. No idea what it is though. Maybe some kind of caterpillar?
Posted by Meerkat  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  05:52 PM
Last summer Erik and Sage came back from camping talking about a weird caterpillar they saw... well, just showed Erik the video and it's the same bug. He did take some pictures, I'll try and track them down off the old computer.
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  07:28 PM
It looks like the cat bus from "My Neighbor Totoro"
Posted by bellyacher  on  Sat Jul 29, 2006  at  02:52 PM
It looks like a deformed cat! Ewwwww.
Posted by Dracul  on  Sat Jul 29, 2006  at  07:46 PM
that's one weird bug 🐛
Posted by Amber  on  Sun Jul 30, 2006  at  06:47 PM OMG 15th down!
Posted by Meerkat  on  Sun Jul 30, 2006  at  08:39 PM
On The web link to the Video, if you read the comments, someone has ID'd it...
"It's called a Puss Caterpillar : It is a Flannel Moth Larvae. It does sting. The pic at the bottom of this web page matches exactly. "
Posted by R. Wilson  on  Sun Jul 30, 2006  at  08:51 PM
i don't think it looks like a puss caterpillar at all.
Posted by bellyacher  on  Sun Jul 30, 2006  at  11:01 PM
That thing has legs tho... and what looks to be a crested ridge like a triceratops. Doesnt look a bit like the pictures of the puss moth caterpillars who all seem to have a rather smooth hairdo and no visible legs. Maybe its just having a bad hair day?
Posted by Emidawg  on  Tue Aug 01, 2006  at  03:02 AM
see....someone agrees with me!! i think there should be a better explaination for this caterpiller besides a puss moth. hopefully the bug man will come through.
Posted by bellyacher  on  Tue Aug 01, 2006  at  10:03 PM
i'm no caterpillar expert, but just from observation i can see that the legs of caterpillars are below them, not on the side of them as seen in this video
Posted by jai614  on  Wed Aug 02, 2006  at  06:40 PM
No, you are right. That's why I suspect the bug is not a caterpillar. The closest resemblance in the legs I could find was to the onychophora (, which unfortunately lacks hair and corolla, and is more of a 'worm-like' bug. The mystery remains...Hopefully the bugman gets back to me with an answer 😊
Posted by StarLizard  in  Quebec, Canada  on  Thu Aug 03, 2006  at  08:49 AM
I've done alot of web searching & the closest I can find is the Puss Moth, but I'm no bug expert. I've found a couple references to varying looks @ different stages...
Posted by Rswilson  on  Thu Aug 03, 2006  at  09:04 AM
Actualy... when you google "Bolivia Bug" you get alot of links to the youtube video...
all calling it the Puss Moth Caterpillar.
Posted by Rswilson  on  Fri Aug 04, 2006  at  07:35 AM
its' not real, look at its size, looks like it's at least 7" long, look at the size of the expansion joint in the concrete or the base of post.
Posted by hannle  on  Wed Aug 09, 2006  at  07:12 PM
Yeah, I'm not sure if it's a puss moth or not. After seeing the site of the link below, though, I think that it is a puss moth or 'megalopyge opercularis.' Look how the adult form has legs that extend outward. The puss moth is the only thing I can find that has a ridge on its back, too.
Posted by robitussin  on  Tue Dec 12, 2006  at  09:08 PM
guys, you must be gullible, cause this thing clearly is a mechanic hoax - just look at how clean and artificial its fur is. Not to mention its movement. This thing wouldn't stand a chance in the wild.
Posted by jon  on  Sat Apr 21, 2007  at  02:39 PM
its a southern flannel moth caterpillar or as you say a puss caterpillar. Megalopyge opercularis
Posted by Smart guy  on  Fri Jul 18, 2008  at  08:03 AM
the video on youtube is much clearer/ more focused
Posted by Josh V  on  Thu Jul 24, 2008  at  05:11 PM
Okay guys, those "legs" on the side of its body are clearly just tufts of hair.

Also, don't forget that caterpillars often change appearance depending upon what instar (stage of development) they're in.

Finally, if this caterpillar is 7" long (as one poster claims), then it's crawling past the world's largest table-leg.
Posted by doc  on  Sun Oct 05, 2008  at  11:11 PM
although this catapillar type looks like it just came off of chewbacca or an ewok i believe the person should find more of them and sell on e-bay
Posted by joseph  on  Sun Oct 26, 2008  at  07:23 PM
i think a new name for this should be called the hairy wookie crawlers
Posted by joseph  on  Sun Oct 26, 2008  at  07:32 PM
it's real... look it up
Posted by The MAN  on  Fri Jun 26, 2009  at  10:37 AM
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