Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Edward's Hairstreak

Genus-Species: Satyrium edwardsii

Host Plants: Scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia) and occasionally black oak (Q. velutina).

Habitat: Oak thickets in rocky open habitats including sand barrens, shale barrens, and limestone ridges.

Comments: The Edward's Hairstreak caterpillar is dark brown with dark band and a series of pale dashes. Late stage caterpillars eat at night and are tended by ants. As daylight approaches, the ants herd caterpillars into their underground chambers where they spend the daylight hours. The ants receive sweet liquid from the caterpillars, which is produced by a special tentacle-shaped gland.

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.

Bees flying footer graphic