Wisconsin Native Caterpillars

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Northern Pearly-Eye Caterpillar

Genus-Species: Enodia anthedon

Description: Yellow-green with narrow yellow stripes, a dark stripe, two short, red-tipped tails and two reddish horns on the head.

Chrysalis: Green pendant often dangles from host grass blade.

Host Plants: Various grasses including white grass (Leersia virginica), bearded shorthusk (Brachyelytrum erectum), plumegrass (Erianthus), broadleaf uniola (Uniola latifolia), and bottlebrush (Hystrix patula).

Habitat: Damp deciduous woods, usually near marshes or waterways; mixed or grassy woodlands.

Comments: The Northern Pearly-Eye caterpillar is yellowish-green and up to 1¾″ long. The head is medium yellowish-green, is covered with whitish spots (granules), and has a pair of short, pink to red horns. The horns are shorter than the width of the head. The mandibles are blackened. The abdomen is light yellowish-green with a series of narrow slightly darker and slightly lighter stripes, including a broad green upper (middorsal) stripe and a yellowish-green stripe below the breathing openings (spiracles).

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.

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