Wisconsin Native Caterpillars

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Queen Caterpillar

Genus-Species: Danaus gilippus

Description: Black with creamy white rings and yellow spots--warning colors that signal predators that this caterpillar is distasteful. There are b3 pairs of long, black filaments. (Monarch caterpillars only have 2 pairs).

Chrysalis: Green with distinct rows of golden spots and a distinct abdominal suture line. Somewhat blunt and barrel-shaped.

Host Plants: Red Milkweed, Butterfly Weed.

Habitat: Open, sunny areas including fields, deserts, roadsides, pastures, dunes, washes, and waterways.

Comments: Queen isomewhat similar to famous Monarch, Danaus plexippus, belonging not only to the same butterfly family but also to the same genus. It's a little smaller than the Monarch. Caterpillars of the two species also are very similar. As with Monarchs, Queen caterpillars feed on various kinds of milkweeds.

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