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Caterpillar Comments (16)
Bella
"this was the most coolest article it heped me at doing my book for school !"
David
"really helpful " ...


A caterpillar is the larval stage of a member of the order Lepidoptera (the insect order comprising butterflies and moths).

Caterpillar
Insect. Butterflies and moths spend their childhood as caterpillars, called the larval stage. Caterpillars eat constantly. They outgrow their skin and shed it several times.

Caterpillars have long segmented bodies with legs. They do not breathe through their mouths, but through a series of small tubules along the sides of their thorax and abdomen. These tubules are called 'spiracles', and inside the body they connect together into a network of airtubes.

Caterpillars have a segmented body consisting of a head, a thorax (with three pairs of jointed legs with hooks), and an abdomen (usually with five pairs of stumpy prolegs). Its primary function is to eat and grow in preparation for pupating.

Discover Nearby Nature: Moth & Butterfly Caterpillars in Northern Virginia
BUTTERFLIES - click here to view adults
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
View adult butterfly ...

'Tent caterpillar' is not technically a species but a common name for a collection of species.
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Forest Tent Caterpillar
Malacosoma disstria - Order Lepidoptera
HOSTS: Sugar maple, birch, oak, aspen and other deciduous.

Caterpillar Hosts: Oxytheca and Eriogonum species in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae).
Adult Food: Flower nectar, usually that of the caterpillar hosts.
Habitat: Deserts, edges of dry desert lakes, stream edges in foothills.

caterpillar
illustration
This species is unmistakable within its range, with bright yellow wings marked with small brown patches along the costa of the forewing and a small brown-edged white stigma, also on the forewing. The wingspan is 33-46 mm.

Caterpillars are naked and up to 45 mm long (41). In the last two of the four instars they are green with black transversal bands carrying 6 rows of reddish spots. Young caterpillars look like bird droppings which is a good camouflage.

Caterpillar on Zizia.
Carroll Co., VA 6/14/03.
Caterpillars are more often seen than adults. They seemingly appear spontaneously on plants in the carrot family (Umbelliferae or Apiaceae) such as fennel and parsley.
Chrysalises are normally green. Durham Co., NC 7/8/03.

Caterpillars feed on milkweeds that contain poisons that are distasteful to birds and other predators. After tasting a Monarch, a predator learns to associate the bright warning colors of the adult or caterpillar with an unpleasant meal, and avoid eating Monarchs in the future.

Caterpillars and other insects. Feeds heavily on caterpillars when available, including hairy types such as tent caterpillars and others; also other insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, others. Also may eat some snails, small fish, eggs of other birds, and berries and small fruits.
Nesting ...

caterpillars*, other insects
wild cherry
N=north C=central S=south
Sp=spring Su=summer F=fall W=winter
B=breeds in Florida during season(s) underlined M=Migrant ...

Caterpillars feed on willows (Salix) or cottonwoods (Populus), including aspens. The caterpillars may also be found on ocean spray (Holodiscus), chokecherry (Prunus) or serviceberry (Amelanchier).

Caterpillars shed their skin as they grow, then form a chrysalis and change into a butterfly
The fastest butterflies are the skippers, which can fly at 37 miles per hour, but most butterflies travel at 5 to 12 miles per hour.
Presto, Change-o! ...

Caterpillars copy each other's color patterns for survival.
From transvestite birds to zombie caterpillars and our own set of animal superheroes, it's been a wacky ride.
Rested & Recovered, Globe-Trotting Turtle Returns to Sea ...

Caterpillars and other insects such as beetles and ants form the major part of the Cuckoo's diet. Many of the caterpillars are the hairy or brightly coloured poisonous ones, but their digestive system is specially adapted to cope with the hairs and toxins.

Caterpillars feed on the leaves of the milkweed plant (Genus Asclepias). Adults feed on the nectar of flowers.
Classification: ...

Caterpillars, fruits, insects, spiders, and nectar.
Nesting
Nesting FactsClutch Size2-7 eggsEgg DescriptionPale bluish or grayish white, sometimes with purplish tint, splotched and scrolled with a few to many fine, purplish brown lines.

Caterpillar continued waving its head in front of frog until it gets eaten.
Reptile Enclosures and Set Ups
I want a nice, naturalistic home for a couple of small- to medium-sized turtles to enjoy.

The caterpillars of Regals, as is true of most fritillaries, eat only violets. In particular, Regals prefer the Birdsfoot Violet (Viola pedata) and Prairie Violet (Viola pedatifida). The eggs are laid in late summer. The newly hatched caterpillars overwinter and begin eating the following spring.

The caterpillars of the Humming-bird Hawk-moth feed on Lady's Bedstraw, Hedge Bedstraw and Wild Madder. They are distinguished by a ‘horn' on the end of the green body, which confirms it as a hawk-moth caterpillar, and yellow stripes down the side identify it as a Humming-bird Hawk-moth.

The caterpillars of these two species are not vegetarians. The caterpillar of the White-shouldered House Moth to the left eats wool, while the caterpillar of the Dun-bar to the right is a hunter.

Wasp Caterpillar Cocoon
Red Wasp
A flying insect with a furry body that makes a buzzing sound as it flies. Some species of bees have stingers, and some live in hives and produce honey.
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Diet: Caterpillars, beetles, earthworms, slugs, and snails.
Territory: Hedgehogs roam 1-2 miles in search of food.
Lifespan: Can live 5-6 years.

The baby caterpillars eat milkweed, a plant that is poisonous to other creatures. Adult monarchs sip nectar from flowers for food.
Status: ...

Insects, caterpillars, seeds and nuts.
Population
EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
20-44 million pairs ...

Esp hairy caterpillars, also few bird eggs, frogs, lizards; berries, fruit. Young fed insect regurgitant.
CONSERVATION:
Winters n S.A. s to e Peru, Bolivia and n Argentina. Blue List 1972-81, 1986; w populations much reduced. Declining in most other areas, as well.

Food: caterpillars will only eat the foliage of a group of plants called umbellifers - a group that includes carrot, fennel and angelica, but they show a marked preference for milk parsley. Adults feed on nectar from a variety of flowers.

Diet: Caterpillars feed on leaves throughout the summer. The adult moths don’t eat at all.

Life Cycle Caterpillar, to 5/8" (16 mm), deep green with purple back stripes and parallel black and yellow side stripes; uniquely among our pierids, feeds on weedy composites, such as sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), bur marigold (Bidens pilosa), and garden marigold varieties (Tagetes), ...

The viceroy caterpillar eats the leaves of willow and poplar trees.
Life Cycle The viceroy mates in the afternoon. The female lays her eggs on the tips of the leaves of poplars and willows. There are usually two or three generations of viceroys born each breeding season.
Behavior ...

Ants Eating A Caterpillar, These ants are harvester ants of the genus Pogonomyrmex, possibly P. rugosus
Photograph by Jeff Turner from Santa Clarita, CA, United States. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
ROUGH HARVESTER ANT FACTS ...

We saw a lot of caterpillars, just a few of which I took photos of. Here's a particularly large and urticating-hair-covered one.
These were large and very bright, presumably warning predators away from toxins.

After a while the caterpillars wrap themselves in protective enclosures, called chrysalises. At this stage the insects are called pupae. After some time, pupation ends and the mature butterflies emerge from their chrysalises.
Home In the Forest ...

The prairie deer mouse prefers seeds of foxtail (Alopecurus spp.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum), caterpillars, and corn (Zea mays) where available [127]. In southeastern Montana deer mice in big sagebrush/grasslands consumed arthropods and seeds; the proportion changed with the year of study [107].

Butterflies and moths share a complex life cycle consisting of four distinct phases: egg, caterpillar (larvae), pupa, and adult. After mating, the female lepidopteran lays eggs, sometimes singly and sometimes in clusters, on the food plant of the caterpillar or larvae.

This species feeds on insects, is an expert fly catcher, and a great devourer of caterpillars. During winter, however, its principal food consists of berries of various kinds, especially those of the myrtle and pokeweed. They also feed on the seeds of various grasses.

Moulting in the monarch consists of several stages from the tiny egg, through five stages of larval (or caterpillar) growth to a pupa and eventually through to an adult monarch. Together the growth process takes just over a month to complete in mid summer and longer at other times of the year.

Then the eggs hatch and the larva, or caterpillars, emerge. When they first hatch the caterpillars are only 2 millimeters long, but they eat constantly and grow quickly, shedding their skins several times in the process.

It popped up again with a caterpillar in its bill and I then enjoyed the best looks, by far, that I have ever had of a Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus.

Some caterpillars are also toxic, or covered in spines for protection. Other species use camouflage (as caterpillars and/ or as adults) to avoid predation. Many non-toxic species are able to fly faster and with more precision than the species who rely on toxins to deter predators.

Much of the rest of the year, they spend as caterpillars, deep inside yucca plants. After the eggs hatch on the leaf surface, the larvae bore their way inside the spiny leaves and then the main stems, before they descend into the root below ground where they will eventually pupate.

termites, caterpillars and earthworms) are also eaten. The bonobo has been observed to eat small mammals, including shrews, flying squirrels, and small antelopes such as young duikers. However, unlike the chimpanzee, the bonobo has rarely been observed to actively hunt for meat.

A neighbor told me today that he examined a green snake's stomach yesterday which contained many of the hairy caterpillars. These, birds will not often eat, I think. In sending reptiles to the Boston Society I thought I would write short notes on the habits of each species sent.
Sept.

After hatching, the young caterpillars feed on the lupine. After a few weeks of feeding, the caterpillars form a chrysalis. Adults emerge in about ten days. Two generations of Karner blues are produced every year. The first hatch occurs from mid-May through early June.

Although invertebrates—such as earthworms, beetles, and caterpillars—provide about 40 percent of its diet, the robin is chiefly a fruit-eating species, with chokecherries, barberries, and rowan berries high on its list.

They are able to eat insects such as hairy caterpillars which other birds avoid. On cold nights, they will huddle together in a tree for warmth.

It feeds mainly on small caterpillars, flies, beetles and bugs. Clutch-size is two. Usually only one brood is raised each year (McCormack and Knzle 1990, Sanders et al. 1995, Saul et al. 1998, E. Saul in litt. 1999). Before intensive predator control began, annual adult mortality was 24.

One egg produces one caterpillar, which will grow to about 5 cm (2 in.) long in about two weeks. For the last of the five times it will shed its skin, it attaches itself head-down to a convenient twig. Next, it sheds its outer skin and begins the transformation into a chrysalis.

Snakes can also move in a caterpillar-like motion, by bunching up the front part of their body, pushing down and pulling the trailing part forward, then bunching up muscles in the back of the body, pressing down and pushing the front part forward.

Moving along the trunk and branches of trees, it searches leaves and bark crevices for insects such as caterpillars, beetles, ants, wasps, and bees, and for spiders and their egg cases. Titmice are often seen picking through suspended clusters of dead leaves.

After mating, female cabbage whites lay single eggs on the undersides of the plants that the young caterpillars will need to eat when they hatch. The eggs will hatch in the spring and the new caterpillars eat right away! ...

The Worm-eating Warbler is another poorly named bird, for they rarely if ever feed on earthworms, although they do feed heavily on caterpillars. Relatively unusual for a warbler, they're often quite sluggish, slowly poking through the forest understory and the forest floor for insects.

Least Bell's vireos are insectivores, preying on a wide variety of insect types including bugs, beetles, grasshoppers, moths, and particularly caterpillars (Chapin 1925; Bent 1950). It is likely that vireos do not require water for drinking (Kus 2002).

Orioles eat bugs such as caterpillars, beetles, wasps, ants, grasshoppers and spiders. Fruit is also part of their diet. Grapes, pears, cherries, apples, oranges, bananas, coconuts, and melons are all part of the Orioles fruit diet.

Food and Feeding: The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl is a diurnal and crepuscular owl feeding mostly on insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, other large insects and scorpions. In addition, their diet consists of birds, small mammals, amphibians, and reptiles (often lizards).

Its caterpillars spin large brown cocoons that change to gray with age. The cocoon is attached along one entire side to a branch, sometimes incorporating the branch and even twigs into its structure.

DIET: These colorful monkeys forage for ripe fruits, the seeds of immature fruits, leaves, nuts, nectar and some insects, including caterpillars.

Fattening larvae become juicy, colorful caterpillars, then create a hard protective case around themselves as they enter the pupa stage. They emerge as beautifully colored, black-orange-and-white adults. The colorful pattern makes monarchs easy to identify-and that's the idea.

Monarchs develop first as an egg, continue to grow as a caterpillar, and finally emerge as a butterfly. Growing from an egg to a butterfly takes about one month. In the spring, Minnesota monarchs that have wintered in Mexico, fly north laying eggs on milkweed plants there or in southern states.

Most Cuckoos are carnivores, with many feeding on hairy and distasteful (to other birds) caterpillars, though others feed on a variety of insects, lizards, small snakes and mammals.

During the breeding season robins mostly eat animal material, including earthworms, beetles, grasshoppers, ants, caterpillars, spiders, and snails (Fig. 2).

Spme companies have websites that offer very fine netting that are good for caterpillars and other small insects. The mesh or netting allows the cage to "breathe" better and provides your insect with a much larger area to climb and walk on.

It feeds on insects, caterpillars in spring and seeds in winter.
It is the largest tit and has yellow underparts with a black central band. It has big white cheek patches in a black head, an olive green back and a white wing-bar on a blue-grey wing.
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The whole life cycle from egg, through caterpillar and metamorphosis (in a pupae), to adult butterfly takes around four months. Blue Morpho caterpillars and pupa can usually be seen in the Butterfly Journey breeding room and 'Puparium'.
Species Information ...

Insects-particularly crickets, grasshoppers, butterflies, small caterpillars, and ants-plus spiders makeup the bulk of their diet. Except for struggling violently when handled, even after being in captivity for sometime, the green snakes are gentle and never bite.

Chaffinchs also collect food from trees and shrubs in the spring and summer when they eat alot of caterpillars. They like to feed these to their young. They feed their young on seed paste. This high protein diet gives the young a good start, which is a reason why the chaffinch is so successful.

Life History The varied diet of the yellow-billed cuckoo includes insects (especially hairy caterpillars and cicadas) bird eggs, snails, small frogs, lizards, berries, and some fruit. Predators such as raccoons and jays feed on the cuckoo's eggs, and fledglings are sometimes eaten by raptors.

Diet
Wood-boring beetles and their larvae, caterpillars, ants, and some other insects; nuts, seeds, tree sap, wild fruits and berries.
Woodpeckers
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Hairy Woodpecker
Black-backed Three-toed Woodpecker ...

Eat occasionally: scarab beetles, caterpillars, centipedes, roaches, moth larvae
Eat insects crabs regularly, but in small numbers. (Carey 1975)
In contrast to other lizards (that are carnivorous) and to mammalian herbivores, iguanas spend little time foraging (Iverson 1982) ...

A wide variety of invertebrates are taken as food, including moths, flies, beetles, caterpillars and grubs. By nesting above ground Grass Wrens do have some defence against introduced rodents.

INSECTS, Ants, Bees, Beetles, Caterpillars, Dragonflies, Flies, Grasshoppers, Bugs, Termites, Neuropteran, Proturans, Leafhoppers, Mayflies, Earwigs, Parasitic, Scorpions, Spiders, Ticks and Mites, Pillbugs, Myriapods, ...

Emus have a broad diet and will eat insects and bugs such as caterpillars. Most of their diet is from vegetation such as fruits, shoots, leaves, seeds and native flowers.
Emus are able to survive in most habitats except for tropical rainforest and very dry desert conditions.

Bobolinks feed on Insects, including grasshoppers, ants, beetles,
and caterpillars; spiders; weed seeds and grass seeds
Bobolinks nest on the ground in slight depressions formed
at the base of a clump of grass. The nests consist of course
grasses and weed stems lined with finer grasses.

Eats a variety of small invertebrates, ants, beetles, flies, caterpillars, spiders, etc. along with flower buds and blossoms, and occasionally small lizards.
Reproduction
Breeding takes place in the spring. 2 - 6 eggs are laid June - August and hatch in two months.

It preys on beetles, spiders, caterpillars, crickets, and wasps, and probably on many other terrestrial invertebrates. This shrew has a grayish-brown back, paler flanks, and a nearly white underside. The tail shows the same strong bicoloration.


The Queen Alexandra caterpillar eats a toxic pipevine
plant, the Aristolochia schlecteri, on which it is hatched.
The adult will feed on the liquid nectar of flowers.

Rectilinear: Large, heavy snakes also use caterpillar or "inchworm" movement to travel in a straight line. They are able to move the skin of the belly forward and then pull the rest of the body along.

The tits are generalist insectivores that consume a wide range of small insects and other invertebrates, particularly small defoliating caterpillars. They also consume seeds and nuts, especially in the winter.

Recently emerged metamorphs apparently feed on spiders, ants, beetles, mites, ticks, caterpillars, and gastropods (Oplinger 1967); a diet similar to the adults.
Larvae
Larva feed on small aquatic organisms such as diatoms and algae attached to underwater vegetation (Oplinger 1967).
PREDATION ...

All three species of Minnesota's lizards eat small invertebrates such as crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, caterpillars, which they chase down and eat. They mash their food up with their strong jaws before swallowing it.

Diet in the wild: insects, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants
beetles, mice,lizards, snakes,
Diet in the zoo: mice,bees,insects
Location in the zoo: Texas Wild! ( Brush Country) ...

Their prey mainly falls into three groups: lepidopteran larvae (caterpillars), grasshoppers and crickets, and spiders (Mitchell, 1994). They are completely diurnal, spending much of their time basking or foraging in broad daylight.

The Scarlet Tanager devours many destructive caterpillars and wood-boring beetles, most often but not exclusively in oaks.
Photos
Information
Bird Song & Range Map
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Young copperheads eat mostly insects, especially caterpillars, and use their yellow-tipped tails as a worm-like lure to attract prey.
Zoo Diet
The copperhead is fed mice, rats, and chicks.

A combination of small insects such as beetles, caterpillars and termites and the leaves and flowers of small herbaceous plants make up the diet.
Reproduction: ...

Feeds almost exclusively on spiders and insects like grasshoppers and caterpillars. Good climber and commonly moves about in bushes and low trees. Common in Pine Barrens.
Find Related Info: snakes ...

Animal Larva
Amphibians Tadpole
Butterflies & moths Caterpillar
Flies Maggot
Beetles, bees & wasps Grub
Dragonflies & Damselflies Nymph
Grasshoppers, true bugs Nymph ...

Grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, millipedes, small lizards, and fruit.
Predators:
Primarily snakes.

The bulk of smooth green snakes’ diet is insects—crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, spiders and beetles. These small snakes are preyed upon by birds of prey, small mammals and other snakes.
Life History ...

Diet: Beetles, flies, ants, caterpillars, aphids, other insects and spiders, ticks, and mites.

Diet- Carnivore:
mice, small birds, lizards, frogs, caterpillars, insects, especially cicadas
Active:
diurnal or nocturnal, depending on season ...

The emu eats mostly fruits, flowers, insects, seeds, and it absolutely adores caterpillars and green vegetation. Emus need to drink water on a regular basis in order to stay alive.

DIET:
Fruits, flowers, insects, seeds and green vegetation; love caterpillars. Ingest large stones into gizzard to aid grinding process. Need water daily.

Insects also may be eaten (Grant 1936, Brown 1968, Okomoto 1995), and caterpillars and other insect larvae may occasionally provide rich lipid and protein supplements to an otherwise vegetarian diet; these may be especially valuable to juvenile growth (Avery, pers. comm.).

Diet Description: Marabou Storks will eat just about any kind of animal, dead or alive. Living prey includes termites, fish, locusts, grasshoppers, army-worm caterpillars, frogs, rodents, crocodile eggs and hatchlings, quelea nestlings, doves, young and adult flamingos, cormorant nestlings, ...

See also: See also: Beetle, Spider, Perch, Snake, Fly

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