Find Caterpillar

Wisconsin Native Caterpillars

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Red Admiral Caterpillar

Genus-Species: Vanessa atalanta

Description: Variable in color, ranging from yellow all the way to black. Black individuals are covered with minute yellow flecks. Six groups of branched spines cross each segment.

Chrysalis: May be gray or brown with black markings. Short tubercles cover the body and a speckled with gold flecks.

Host Plants: Plants of the nettle family (Urticaceae) including Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), Tall wild nettle (U. gracilis), Wood nettle (Laportea canadensis), False nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica)

Habitat: Found in a wide variety of habitats, especially when it is abundant. Usually found at woodland edges, along streams, woodland trails, and nectaring in nearby fields.

Comments: The Red Admiral, like the American Lady and the Painted Lady, varies greatly in numbers from year to year

Adult Red Admiral 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