About animals

Little-Known Caterpillar Facts

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We all know that caterpillars are one of the stages in the development of an insect, which then turns into a butterfly. However, many of them are so amazing in this phase of their life cycle that they can be considered separately. Caterpillars are very different, both harmless and not very, and some of them are so large that they can scare a person who grew up far from the tropics and hefty insects. Well, in some countries they are even eaten, revered as a delicacy.

Caterpillar Facts

  • Most often, caterpillars feed on plant foods, leaves, flowers, and fruits. However, there are other species, caterpillars, preferring a diet of wax, wool or horny substances.
  • In nature, there are predator caterpillars that feed on other insects, aphids, larvae and pupae of ants.
  • The caterpillar eats the shell of its egg immediately after hatching, and then all the other eggs that it stumbles upon.
  • On average, about 4000 muscles are located in the body of the caterpillar, which is about 7 times more than in the human body.
  • Caterpillars, like spiders, can distinguish silk thread. From it they weave a cocoon (interesting facts about spiders).
  • Pupilizing, a silkworm caterpillar weaves a cocoon, the shell of which consists of a continuous silk thread up to 1,500 meters long in the largest cocoons. It is these cocoons that are harvested to produce natural silk.
  • Caterpillars of many butterflies living in the northern latitudes do not have time to turn into a chrysalis in one summer, which is why they are forced to hibernate until next summer.
  • In Canada and Greenland, there are caterpillars that live until they turn into a butterfly before the age of 14, because they do not have time to develop in a short summer, and they have to hibernate for the winter. Moreover, they withstand temperatures up to -70 degrees.
  • Caterpillars of some species live in anthills, being in an symbiotic relationship with ants. They impersonate an ant uterus, secreting a special enzyme or making sounds with a sonic cilia. Ants feed and protect such a caterpillar (interesting facts about ants).
  • Some caterpillars become toxic due to the plants they eat. Therefore, the birds do not eat them, knowing that they are poisonous.

  • Immediately after hatching from an egg, the caterpillar begins to actively gain weight by eating everything that is suitable for it in food, and in a few days its weight increases tenfold.
  • In Peru, unique caterpillars live, habits reminiscent of a hermit crab. They find suitable objects, like a dry sheet twisted into a tube, and use them as a shell for their protection.
  • The dimensions of the smallest caterpillars do not exceed 2 mm, and for the largest they reach 12 cm.
  • As the caterpillars grow, they molt several times, dropping the old, which has become a tight shell and growing a new one.
  • Caterpillars have 6 eyes, and in most species, five of them are arranged in a row, and the sixth grows above them, in the center.
  • In all caterpillars, the head consists of six segments, fused together.
  • On the underside of the head is the occipital foramen, which in most cases has the shape of a heart symbol.
  • All species of caterpillars pass through the pupation stage before turning into a butterfly.
  • Most caterpillars live much longer than the butterfly, which they then turn into (interesting facts about butterflies).
  • The muscles of the caterpillars, unlike the human, perform the function of a skeleton for their body. They look like small balls with air, through which blood circulates through the interlacing of muscles.

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