Disclaimer : Dedicated naturalists volunteer their time and resources here to provide this service. We strive to provide accurate information, but we are mostly just amateurs attempting to make sense of a diverse natural world. If you need expert professional advice, contact your local extension office.
I'm a naturalist and an enthusiastic citizen-scientist, and I have been helping people ID caterpillar specimens ever since I was a kid. Maybe you just found one and you're looking for a little help with identifying it. If so, you're are in the right place!
I have studied insects for nearly 40 years. Caterpillars and the beautiful butterflies they become are two of my favorite subjects. This guide will help you identify the striped caterpillar that you found.
I have studied insects for nearly forty years, and I have also done battle with my share of garden pests. Did you find a caterpillar outside, and you're wondering what kind of butterfly or moth it will turn into? Would you like to raise it to an adult?
Here are 12 common British caterpillars for you to look for, with typical food plants listed to help you identify them. Lengths quoted are maximum sizes of fully grown larvae. Why are caterpillars so varied?
Caterpillars come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Their beauty can often be deceiving since their hairs often contain venom which can be poisonous to humans and predators. Toxic caterpillars can be found in many places including backyard gardens, parks and fields.
Insects, after all, are the most abundant animals on earth. While some species can be overlooked, due to their small size or out-of-the-way lifestyles, butterflies and caterpillars cannot. These veritable pop stars of the insect world — dolled up in coiffed hair tufts and shimmering wing scales — simply demand attention. As any third-grader will tell you, Lepidoptera — the order of insects that includes butterflies and caterpillars — represent peak evolution in the cool-animal department.
During mid- to late summer and early autumn, large, unusually shaped, colorful caterpillars are often seen. These caterpillars, larvae of moths and butterflies, feed on leaves of various trees, shrubs, and other plants. The exact host plant or plants vary with each species of caterpillar.
Caterpillars represent just one stage of this transformational trek — the larval stage. Their main purpose is to eat and eat and eat some more. If you have a garden, you're probably well aware of the damage these greedy grazers can do. Indeed, caterpillars munch so much and grow so big during their brief lives that they typically shed their skin several times, often totally revamping their appearance from one slough-off to the next called instars.