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Related Category: Zoology: Invertebrates
(kt´pl´´r, kt´r-), common name for the larva of a moth or butterfly. Caterpillars have distinct heads and are segmented and wormlike.

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.

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.

Caterpillars Mimic One Another for Survival
December 16, 2011 " In the world of insects, high risk of attack has led to the development of camouflage as a means for survival.

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.

Caterpillars feed on milkweeds that contain poisons that are distasteful to birds and other predators.

Caterpillars and other insects such as beetles and ants form the major part of the Cuckoo's diet.

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 are bluish-green with a pale line low down on each side. The pupa looks like a curled leaf.
They are widespread throughout Europe and North Africa.
Brimstones are found in woodland and gardens.

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 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 ...

caterpillar = up to 70 mm (2.75 in)
butterfly = wingspan of 88-100 mm (3.5-4 in.)

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 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.

Caterpillars live an interesting life -- their sole purpose is to consume as much food as they can, before they turn into butterflies or moths. It works for them. Take our quiz and learn more about how the caterpillar works.

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 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.
Estimated numbers
EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
20-44 million pairs ...

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.

Esp hairy caterpillars, also few bird eggs, frogs, lizards; berries, fruit. Young fed insect regurgitant.

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), ...

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.

Silkworms are caterpillars, not worms.Like all caterpillars, they eat and grow. Their skin splits several times during their growing period, with a larger skin underneath being revealed.

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)

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].

Section 6 - Preservation of caterpillars
Section of AIDS Memorial Quilt
Sedimentary environments
Sedimentary processes
Sedimentary structures
Sedimentary transport
Seed dispersal
Seed fern, Dicroidium zuberi
Seed fern, Glossopteris sp ...

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.

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.

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.

Larvae (caterpillars) are small, green, soft-bodied caterpillars that feed only on wild or blue lupine (Lupinus perennis) leaves and flowers.

Some caterpillars are also toxic, or covered in spines for protection. Other species use camouflage (as caterpillars and/ or as adults) to avoid predation.

A butterfly's life cycle consists of four distinct stages: egg, larva (or caterpillar), pupa (or chrysalis), and adult. The life span and development varies for each species.

When the eggs hatch, the caterpillar enters the first instar (stage of development). Most butterflies experience five instars over a period of three to six weeks. Each time the caterpillar grows bigger, it sheds its skin in a process called molting.

Much of the rest of the year, they spend as caterpillars, deep inside yucca plants.

Caterpillars are a preferred food, but grasshoppers, praying mantises, moths, flies, spiders, small frogs, and berries are also eaten.

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.

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.

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.

They also eat insects, including grasshoppers and crickets, lady birds, soldier and saltbush caterpillars, Bogong and cotton-boll moth larvae and ants.

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).

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.

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.

Insects-particularly crickets, grasshoppers, butterflies, small caterpillars, and ants-plus spiders makeup the bulk of their diet.

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.

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'.

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

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