The caterpillar is the larva of butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), arthropod invertebrate animals.
They are known for their striking colors and their voracious appetite that leads them to eat any form of vegetation they find in their path.
Caterpillar Fact and Animated Images
At first glance, caterpillars are mistaken for worms because they have a soft, elongated, cylindrical body segmented by rings.
A caterpillar’s body’s general structure is divided into nine parts: the head, thorax, abdomen, segment, horn, false legs, speculum, thoracic or true legs, and jaws.
This arthropod has six eyes called “stemmata,” but these are not very useful because its sense of sight is very poorly developed.
Hence, it uses the pair of antennae on its head to locate its food and orient itself.
The caterpillar does not have wings (it will develop them later), so it cannot fly, and, although its legs are strong, it moves slowly.
The caterpillars have strong jaws and teeth that allow them to devour everything in their path at incredible speed.
Its maximum length is 10 centimeters. It has eight pairs of legs, three true and five false. The distance separating the two sets of legs varies according to the caterpillar species in front of them.
The respiration of these animals is tracheal. They do it thanks to the air entering through their spiracles, which are connected to tiny tubes located on both sides of their thorax and abdomen, responsible for transporting oxygen to the cells.
Some have striking colors that serve as a signal of their bad taste to potential predators. Other species adopt the color of the plant they are on to camouflage themselves and avoid being eaten.