Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar


Genus-Species: Leminitis archippus

Host Plants: Trees in the willow family (Salicaceae) including Willows (Salix species), and Poplars and Cottonwoods (Populus species)

Habitat: Wetland areas, especially along streams, where willows, its host plants are found.

Comments: The Viceroy is a mimic of the Monarch and can easily be confused with it, especially in flight. The Viceroy is smaller, is found along wetland areas where its host plants, willows, are found, and has a dark postmedian line on the hindwing that can be seen from above or below. This butterfly, like the Monarch, is also found commonly throughout Wisconsin.

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.