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. After the last shedding, the caterpillar fastens to a branch and enters the pupa or chrysalis stage; moth caterpillars use a silk thread from their silk glands to spin a protective cocoon. Inside the cocoon, the pupa goes through a process called metamorphosis. The caterpillar's six front legs transform into the adult insect's legs, the other “prolegs” disappear, wings grow, and the insect emerges as a beautiful moth or butterfly.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Larva 3-4 weeks until pupation
Herbivore. The majority of caterpillars are herbivores, and eat mostly leaves, though some species eat all plant parts, fungi and dead animal matter, including other caterpillars.
Predators and Threats
Wasps, birds, parasites, and humans.
You can find caterpillars almost everywhere from sandy beaches to meadows to mountain forests, worldwide. There are even caterpillars in some Arctic areas.