Interesting facts about caterpillars

Caterpillar "burning rose" (Parasa indetermina)

It's no secret that a caterpillar is a butterfly larva. Most often, caterpillars are phytophages, that is, they feed on plant foods, leaves, flowers and fruits. However, there are other species, for example, keratophages - caterpillars that prefer a diet of wax, wool, horny substances. Among some species, there are also predatory 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 other eggs that it stumbles upon.

Witch moth caterpillar (Phobetron pithecium)

The eyes are represented by separate eyes located on the sides of the head. They lie close to the oral organs and in most cases are located in the form of an arched row of five simple eyes and one, standing inside this arch.

Caterpillars are stuffed into the belt of any bodybuilder - there are about 4, 000 muscles in their body (for comparison, there are only 629 in humans) and they do not have a skeletal body structure. They are like small balloons in which blood moves through the muscle plexus.

Hickory bear caterpillar (Lophocampa caryae)

During the first 56 days of its life, the caterpillar eating vegetation increases from its original weight 20, 000 times.

Caterpillars, like spiders, can secrete a silk thread. They are characterized by a paired silk-separating gland that opens on the lower lip, the secretions from which, in contact with air, form a silk thread that goes to build a cocoon, make a protective web, fasten leaves, etc.

Caterpillar of the white cedar moth (leptocneria reducta)

Pupation, the silkworm caterpillar weaves a cocoon, the shell of which consists of a continuous silk thread from 300-900 meters to 1500 m long in the largest cocoons. It is these cocoons that are harvested to obtain silk.

Caterpillar-coquette (Megalopyge opercularis)

The caterpillars of many butterflies living in northern latitudes do not have time to turn into a pupa in one summer, which is why they are forced to hibernate until next summer. Found in Greenland and Canada, Gynaephora groenlandica from the wavefly family is a record holder in this respect - the life cycle of a caterpillar can last up to 14 years. Another unique ability of these caterpillars is their ability to withstand temperatures down to –70 ° C during wintering.

Sibine stimulea

In a number of species, caterpillars live in anthills, being in a symbiotic relationship with ants. They pretend to be a queen ant, secreting a special enzyme or making sounds with a sound cilium. Ants feed and protect such a caterpillar.

Caterpillar ruddy bear (Tyria jacobaeae)

Some caterpillars acquire toxicity through the plants they eat. And this applies to the caterpillars of the wild bears, which feed on the poisonous groundwort. They eat so much of the plant that they are used in New Zealand, Australia, and North America to control the growth of the wild rose. This plant is fatal to cattle and horses, and poses a kind of health threat to humans.