Wisconsin Native Caterpillars

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Compton Tortoiseshell Caterpillar

Genus-Species: Nymphalis vaualbum

Description: Upperside is orange-brown with darker wing bases and black spots; a single white spot on leading edge of each wing. Underside is mottled gray and brown, with dark bases and borders; hindwing with small white V at outer end of cell.

Host Plants: Aspen and Cottonwood (Populus species), Willows (Salix species) and Paper birch or White birch (Betula papyrifera)

Habitat: Deciduous woodlands, especially trails, openings, and woodland edges.

Comments: Although found throughout the state, the Compton Tortoiseshell is more common in the northern counties.

Adult Butterfly Profile
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.

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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.

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