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