Caterpillars are commonly known as the sometimes fuzzy larva versions of butterflies. However, there are probably plenty of things you probably don’t know about these adorable little insects. Here are just a few of them.
- They have what most people would consider a dream job-just eat. Their job is to consume enough food to be able to survive as a fully grown butterfly. One of their first meals is actually their egg shell which further proves their need to feed.
- Caterpillars have a total of 12 eyes. On each side of their heads, they have twelve, tiny eyes called stemmata. They are arranged in a semi-circle with one closer to the antennae to the rest.
- There are over 20,000 species of caterpillars from the well known Monarchs to the lesser known Flannel Moth caterpillar (aka the Donald Trump Caterpillar).
- Some types of caterpillars can be harmful to humans such as the Puss caterpillar. This is because there is venom within the hairs on their bodies.
- Caterpillars live in the larval or caterpillar form for about three or four weeks at a time. After this, they go into a phase called pupation in which they form a pupa around itself. There, it will turn into a butterfly or moth.
- These little adventurers live pretty much everywhere in the world. Well, they actually do! One, the Arctic Wooly Moth, even lives in the Arctic.
- In addition to being potentially harmful to humans, they can be harmful to larger pests. We all have that one species of bird or other animal that ruins our lawn or garden. Thankfully, caterpillars, if eaten by these pests, can make them sick, leave a bad taste in their mouth or beak, or even kill them depending on the level of toxicity.
- Caterpillars are primarily nocturnal. During this time, there are less potential predators and other insects to eat or bother them. They also like the darkness due to the fact that there is less heat from the sun to beat on their tiny bodies.
- The size of caterpillars varies greatly from a mere millimeter to a whopping 75 millimeters (three inches).
- One caterpillar, known as the Big Headed Caterpillar (Carronia multisepalea), which is an Australian native seems to have a “Dia de Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) look to its face. It is the larval form of a fruit sucking moth and though it seems made up, it is completely real.
- There are various other strange caterpillars which resemble things such as jewels (Acraga coa), a caterpillar with a saddle on its back (Sibine stimulea), or even Donald Trump’s hair (Megalopyge opercularis)!
- If you like the more spiritual side of things (not that you have to), there is plenty of mythology from the Native Americans with caterpillars.
- Also, if you see a caterpillar in your dream, it could be a representation of rebirth, successful changes, or meeting new acquaintances.
- There is a myth stating that Wooly Bear Caterpillars can predict winter weather severity by their color bands.