Caterpillars are fascinating creatures that undergo a remarkable transformation known as metamorphosis. From their humble beginnings as tiny larvae, they grow and develop into beautiful butterflies and moths. In this article, we will explore ten different types of caterpillars and delve into what they become.
Types of caterpillars and what they grow into
Hickory Horned Devil: The Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar is one of the largest in North America. With its striking appearance, featuring vibrant colors and intimidating spines, it transforms into the regal Royal Walnut Moth.
Monarch Butterfly: Perhaps one of the most well-known caterpillars, the Monarch Butterfly larva feeds exclusively on milkweed plants. After undergoing metamorphosis, it emerges as a stunning orange and black butterfly known for its long-distance migrations.
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly:The Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar is characterized by its unique green coloration with blue spots and false eyespots to deter predators. It later transforms into a beautiful black butterfly with blue markings.
Puss Caterpillar: Despite its cute-sounding name, the Puss Caterpillar is covered in venomous spines that can cause painful reactions if touched. It eventually becomes a rather inconspicuous adult moth.
Zebra Longwing Butterfly: The Zebra Longwing caterpillar has distinct yellow stripes on a black body and feeds on passionflower vines. Its transformation results in an elegant butterfly with elongated wings adorned with black stripes on a yellow background.
Saddleback Caterpillar Moth: The Saddleback Caterpillar sports an intriguing appearance with a prominent green hump resembling a saddle on its back, along with stinging spines hidden beneath its bristles. As an adult moth, it showcases muted colors and intricate patterns.
Owl Butterfly: Named for their large owl-like eyespots on their wings, Owl Butterflies start their journey as spiky caterpillars. They later transform into magnificent butterflies with striking patterns and colors, often resembling tree bark to camouflage themselves.
Cecropia Moth: The Cecropia Moth caterpillar is known for its vibrant green color and distinctive red tubercles. After pupating, it emerges as a majestic moth with large wingspan and reddish-brown coloration.
Cairns Birdwing Butterfly: Found in Australia, the Cairns Birdwing caterpillar is a voracious eater of the Dutchman’s Pipevine plant. It undergoes metamorphosis to become one of the largest butterflies in Australia, featuring vibrant green wings with black and yellow markings.
Hag Moth (Monkey Slug) Caterpillar: The Hag Moth caterpillar, also known as the Monkey Slug, has a peculiar appearance resembling a hairy slug rather than a typical caterpillar. As an adult moth, it is relatively inconspicuous but still possesses unique characteristics.
These are just a few examples of the incredible diversity found among caterpillars and their subsequent transformations into butterflies and moths. By understanding their life cycles and appreciating their beauty, we can gain a deeper appreciation for these remarkable creatures that grace our natural world.