Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Cabbage White

Genus-Species: Pieris rapae

Host Plants: Cabbage plants – and other members of the mustard family, including mustard, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Habitat: Any open area with a variety of mustard species available for the larvae including gardens, old fields, and waysides.

Comments: The Cabbage White was introduced into the United States in 1860 and spread rapidly throughout the country. It is currently a very common butterfly in Wisconsin. This butterfly feeds on members of the mustard family, which includes such common garden plants as broccoli, cabbage, and turnips. This invasive species is thought to replace native species in some areas.

Bog Fritillary, Boloria eunomia

Caterpillar Anatomy: A Tutorial

Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy, while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars share certain morphological features.

Bee Quiz Graphic

Caterpillar Quiz

Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus

How Caterpillars Change Into Butterflies

How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult bitterfly.