Caterpillars /ˈkætərˌpɪlər/ are the larval stage of members of the order Lepidoptera (the insect order comprising butterflies and moths).

As with most common names, the application of the word is arbitrary, since the larvae of sawflies commonly are called caterpillars as well.[1][2] Both lepidopteran and symphytan larvae have eruciform body shapes.

Caterpillars of most species are herbivorous (folivorous), but not all; some (about 1%) are insectivorous, even cannibalistic. Some feed on other animal products; for example, clothes moths feed on wool, and horn moths feed on the hooves and horns of dead ungulates.

Caterpillars are typically voracious feeders and many of them are among the most serious of agricultural pests. In fact many moth species are best known in their caterpillar stages because of the damage they cause to fruits and other agricultural produce, whereas the moths are obscure and do no direct harm. Conversely, various species of caterpillar are valued as sources of silk, as human or animal food, or for biological control of pest plants.

Chenille de Grand porte queue (macaon)
Caterpillar of Papilio machaon
Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus Vertical Caterpillar 2000px
A monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpillar feeding on a leaf of the swamp milkweed


The origins of the word "caterpillar" date from the early 16th century. They derive from Middle English catirpel, catirpeller, probably an alteration of Old North French catepelose: cate, cat (from Latin cattus) + pelose, hairy (from Latin pilōsus).[3]

The inchworm, or looper caterpillars from the family Geometridae are so named because of the way they move, appearing to measure the earth (the word geometrid means earth-measurer in Greek);[4] the primary reason for this unusual locomotion is the elimination of nearly all the prolegs except the clasper on the terminal segment.

A geometrid caterpillar or inchworm


Crochets on a caterpillar's prolegs
Craesus septentrionalis
Larvae of Craesus septentrionalis, a sawfly showing 6 pairs of pro-legs.

Caterpillars have soft bodies that can grow rapidly between moults. Their size varies between species and instars (moults) from as small as 1 mm up to 14 cm.[5] Some larvae of the order Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) can appear like the caterpillars of the Lepidoptera. Such larvae are mainly seen in the sawfly suborder. However while these larvae superficially resemble caterpillars, they can be distinguished by the presence of prolegs on every abdominal segment, an absence of crochets or hooks on the prolegs (these are present on lepidopteran caterpillars), one pair of prominent ocelli on the head capsule, and an absence of the upside-down Y-shaped suture on the front of the head.[6]

Lepidopteran caterpillars can be differentiated from sawfly larvae by:

  • the numbers of pairs of pro-legs; sawfly larvae have 6 or more pairs while caterpillars have a maximum of 5 pairs.
  • the number of stemmata (simple eyes); the sawfly larvae have only two,[7] while caterpillars usually have six.
  • the presence of crochets on the prolegs; these are absent in the sawflies.
  • sawfly larvae have an invariably smooth head capsule with no cleavage lines, while lepidopterous caterpillars bear an inverted "Y" or "V" (adfrontal suture).


Many animals feed on caterpillars as they are rich in protein. As a result, caterpillars have evolved various means of defense.

Caterpillars have evolved defenses against physical conditions such as cold, hot or dry environmental conditions. Some Arctic species like Gynaephora groenlandica have special basking and aggregation behaviours[8] apart from physiological adaptations to remain in a dormant state.[9]


Hairy caterpillar (Costa Rica)
Costa Rican hairy caterpillar. The spiny bristles are a self-defense mechanism

The appearance of a caterpillar can often repel a predator: its markings and certain body parts can make it seem poisonous, or bigger in size and thus threatening, or non-edible. Some types of caterpillars are indeed poisonous or distasteful and their bright coloring is aposematic. Others may mimic dangerous caterpillars or other animals while not being dangerous themselves. Many caterpillars are cryptically colored and resemble the plants on which they feed. An example of caterpillars that use camouflage for defence is the species Nemoria arizonaria. If the caterpillars hatch in the spring and feed on oak catkins they appear green. If they hatch in the summer they appear dark colored, like oak twigs. The differential development is linked to the tannin content in the diet.[10] Caterpillars may even have spines or growths that resemble plant parts such as thorns. Some look like objects in the environment such as bird droppings.

Chemical defenses

More aggressive self-defense measures are taken by some caterpillars. These measures include having spiny bristles or long fine hair-like setae with detachable tips that will irritate by lodging in the skin or mucous membranes.[6] However some birds (such as cuckoos) will swallow even the hairiest of caterpillars. Other caterpillars acquire toxins from their host plants that render them unpalatable to most of their predators. For instance, ornate moth caterpillars utilize pyrrolizidine alkaloids that they obtain from their food plants to deter predators.[11] The most aggressive caterpillar defenses are bristles associated with venom glands. These bristles are called urticating hairs. A venom which is among the most potent defensive chemicals in any animal is produced by the South American silk moth genus Lonomia. Its venom is an anticoagulant powerful enough to cause a human to hemorrhage to death (See Lonomiasis).[12] This chemical is being investigated for potential medical applications. Most urticating hairs range in effect from mild irritation to dermatitis. Example: Brown-tail moth.

Papilio cresphontes larva defensive
Giant swallowtail caterpillar everting its osmeterium in defense

Plants contain toxins which protect them from herbivores, but some caterpillars have evolved countermeasures which enable them to eat the leaves of such toxic plants. In addition to being unaffected by the poison, the caterpillars sequester it in their body, making them highly toxic to predators. The chemicals are also carried on into the adult stages. These toxic species, such as the cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae) and monarch (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars, usually advertise themselves with the danger colors of red, yellow and black, often in bright stripes (see aposematism). Any predator that attempts to eat a caterpillar with an aggressive defense mechanism will learn and avoid future attempts.

Some caterpillars regurgitate acidic digestive juices at attacking enemies. Many papilionid larvae produce bad smells from extrudable glands called osmeteria.

Defensive behaviors

Chenilles processionnaires (14)
Caterpillars linked together into a "train"

Many caterpillars display feeding behaviors which allow the caterpillar to remain hidden from potential predators. Many feed in protected environments, such as enclosed inside silk galleries, rolled leaves or by mining between the leaf surfaces.

Some caterpillars, like early instars of the tomato hornworm and tobacco hornworm, have long "whip-like" organs attached to the ends of their body. The caterpillar wiggles these organs to frighten away flies and predatory wasps.[13] Some caterpillars can evade predators by using a silk line and dropping off from branches when disturbed. Many species thrash about violently when disturbed to scare away potential predators. One species (Amorpha juglandis) even makes high pitched whistles that can scare away birds.[14]

Social behaviors and relationships with other insects

Some caterpillars obtain protection by associating themselves with ants. The Lycaenid butterflies are particularly well known for this. They communicate with their ant protectors by vibrations as well as chemical means and typically provide food rewards.[15]

Some caterpillars are gregarious; large aggregations are believed to help in reducing the levels of parasitization and predation.[16] Clusters amplify the signal of aposematic coloration, and individuals may participate in group regurgitation or displays. Pine processionary (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) caterpillars often link into a long train to move through trees and over the ground. The head of the lead caterpillar is visible, but the other heads can appear hidden.[17] Forest tent caterpillars cluster during periods of cold weather.


Caterpillars suffer predation from many animals. The European pied flycatcher is one species that preys upon caterpillars. The flycatcher typically finds caterpillars among oak foliage. Paper wasps, including those in the genus Polistes and Polybia catch caterpillars to feed their young and themselves.


Pasture day moth caterpillar closeup
A pasture day moth caterpillar feeding on capeweed

Caterpillars have been called "eating machines", and eat leaves voraciously. Most species shed their skin four or five times as their bodies grow, and they eventually enter a pupal stage before becoming adults.[18] Caterpillars grow very quickly; for instance, a tobacco hornworm will increase its weight ten-thousandfold in less than twenty days. An adaptation that enables them to eat so much is a mechanism in a specialized midgut that quickly transports ions to the lumen (midgut cavity), to keep the potassium level higher in the midgut cavity than in the hemolymph.[19]

Gypsy moth caterpillar
A gypsy moth caterpillar

Most caterpillars are solely herbivorous. Many are restricted to feeding on one species of plant, while others are polyphagous. Some, including the clothes moth, feed on detritus. Some are predatory, and may prey on other species of caterpillars (e.g. Hawaiian Eupithecia). Others feed on eggs of other insects, aphids, scale insects, or ant larvae. A few are parasitic on cicadas or leaf hoppers (Epipyropidae).[20] Some Hawaiian caterpillars (Hyposmocoma molluscivora) use silk traps to capture snails.[21]

Many caterpillars are nocturnal. For example, the "cutworms" (of the family Noctuidae) hide at the base of plants during the day and only feed at night.[22] Others, such as gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) larvae, change their activity patterns depending on density and larval stage, with more diurnal feeding in early instars and high densities.[23]

Economic effects

Hypsipyla grandela damages mahogany in Brazil

Caterpillars cause much damage, mainly by eating leaves. The propensity for damage is enhanced by monocultural farming practices, especially where the caterpillar is specifically adapted to the host plant under cultivation. The cotton bollworm causes enormous losses. Other species eat food crops. Caterpillars have been the target of pest control through the use of pesticides, biological control and agronomic practices. Many species have become resistant to pesticides. Bacterial toxins such as those from Bacillus thuringiensis which are evolved to affect the gut of Lepidoptera have been used in sprays of bacterial spores, toxin extracts and also by incorporating genes to produce them within the host plants. These approaches are defeated over time by the evolution of resistance mechanisms in the insects.[24]

Plants evolve mechanisms of resistance to being eaten by caterpillars, including the evolution of chemical toxins and physical barriers such as hairs. Incorporating host plant resistance (HPR) through plant breeding is another approach used in reducing the impact of caterpillars on crop plants.[25]

Some caterpillars are used in industry. The silk industry is based on the silkworm caterpillar.

Human health

Buck moth caterpillar sting on a shin twenty-four hours after occurrence in south Louisiana. The reddish mark covers an area about 20 mm at its widest point by about 70 mm in length.

Caterpillar hair can be a cause of human health problems. Caterpillar hairs sometimes have venoms in them and species from approximately 12 families of moths or butterflies worldwide can inflict serious human injuries ranging from urticarial dermatitis and atopic asthma to osteochondritis, consumption coagulopathy, renal failure, and intracerebral hemorrhage.[26] Skin rashes are the most common, but there have been fatalities.[27] Lonomia is a frequent cause of envenomation in Brazil, with 354 cases reported between 1989 and 2005. Lethality ranging up to 20% with death caused most often by intracranial hemorrhage.[28]

Caterpillar hair has also been known to cause kerato-conjunctivitis. The sharp barbs on the end of caterpillar hairs can get lodged in soft tissues and mucous membranes such as the eyes. Once they enter such tissues, they can be difficult to extract, often exacerbating the problem as they migrate across the membrane.[29]

This becomes a particular problem in an indoor setting. The hair easily enter buildings through ventilation systems and accumulate in indoor environments because of their small size, which makes it difficult for them to be vented out. This accumulation increases the risk of human contact in indoor environments.[30]

Caterpillars are a food source in some cultures. For example, in South Africa mopane worms are eaten by the bushmen, and in China silkworms are considered a delicacy.

In popular culture

For Children The Gates of Paradise copy D object 1
William Blake's illustration of a caterpillar overlooking a child from his illustrated book For Children The Gates of Paradise.[31]
Alice in Wonderland by Arthur Rackham - 05 - Advice from a Caterpillar
A 1907 illustrations by Arthur Rackham of the Caterpillar talking to Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

In the Old Testament of the Bible caterpillars are feared as pest that devour crops. They are part of the "pestilence, blasting, mildew, locus" because of their association with the locust, thus they are one of the plagues of Egypt. Jeremiah names them as one of the inhabitants of Babylon. The English word caterpillar derives from the old French catepelose (hairy cat) but merged with the piller (pillager). Caterpillars became a symbol for social dependents. Shakespeare's Bolingbroke described King Richard's friends as "The caterpillars of the commonwealth, Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away". In 1790 William Blake referenced this popular image in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell when he attacked priests: "as the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lay his curse on the fairest joys".[32]

The role of caterpillars in the life stages of butterflies was badly understood. In 1679 Maria Sibylla Merian published the first volume of The Caterpillars' Marvelous Transformation and Strange Floral Food, which contained 50 illustrations and a description of insects, moths, butterflies and their larvae.[33] An earlier popular publication on moths and butterflies, and their caterpillars, by Jan Goedart had not included eggs in the life stages of European moths and butterflies, because he had believed that caterpillars were generated from water. When Merian published her study of caterpillars it was still widely believed that insects were spontaneously generated. Merian's illustrations supported the findings of Francesco Redi, Marcello Malpighi and Jan Swammerdam.[34]

Butterflies were regarded as symbol for the human soul since ancient time, and also in the Christian tradition.[35] Goedart thus located his empirical observations on the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies in the Christian tradition. As such he argued that the metamorphosis from caterpillar into butterfly was a symbol, and even proof, of Christ's resurrection. He argued "that from dead caterpillars emerge living animals; so it is equally true and miraculous, that our dead and rotten corpses will rise from the grave."[36] Swammerdam, who in 1669 had demonstrated that inside a caterpillar the rudiments of the future butterfly's limbs and wings could be discerned, attacked the mystical and religious notion that the caterpillar died and the butterfly subsequently resurrected.[37] As a militant Cartesian, Swammerdam attacked Goedart as ridiculous, and when publishing his findings he proclaimed "here we witness the digression of those who have tried to prove Resurrection of the Dead from these obviously natural and comprehensible changes within the creature itself."[38]

Since then the metamorphoses of the caterpillar into a butterfly has in Western societies been associated with countless human transformations in folktales and literature. There is no process in the physical life of human beings that resembles this metamorphoses, and the symbol of the caterpillar tends to depict a psychic transformation of a human. As such the caterpillar has in the Christian tradition become a metaphor for being "born again".[39]

Famously, in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland a caterpillar asks Alice "Who are you?". When Alice comments on the caterpillar's inevitable transformation into a butterfly, the caterpillar champions the position that in spite of changes it is still possible to know something, and that Alice is the same Alice at the beginning and end of a considerable interval.[40] When the Caterpillar asks Alice to clarify a point, the child replies "I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly... for I can't but understand it myself, to begin with, and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing". Here Carroll satirizes René Descartes, the founder of Cartesian philosophy, and his theory on innate ideas. Descartes argued that we are distracted by urgent bodily stimuli that swamp the human mind in childhood. Descartes also theorised that inherited preconceived opinions obstruct the human perception of the truth.[41]

More recent symbolic references to caterpillars in popular media include the Mad Men season 3 episode "The Fog", in which Betty Draper has a drug-induced dream, while in labor, that she captures a caterpillar and holds it firmly in her hand.[42] In The Sopranos season 5 episode "The Test Dream", Tony Soprano dreams that Ralph Cifaretto has a caterpillar on his bald head that changes into a butterfly.


Click left or right for a slide show.

CH Caterpillar

Caterpillar of the spurge hawk-moth, near Binn, Valais, Switzerland at c. 2 km altitude.

Caterpillar at 5th stage

Caterpillar of the emperor gum moth.

Poplar hawk-moth

A poplar hawk-moth caterpillar (a common species of caterpillar in the UK).

Lycaenid ant sec

Ant tending a lycaenid caterpillar.

Snodgrass Schizura concinna

Life cycle of the red-humped caterpillar (Schizura concinna ).


Forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria)


Camouflage: apparently with eight eyes, only two of them are real. Photo in a eucalyptus tree, Sao Paulo, Brazil


Caterpillar of the Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus), Virginia, United States

Baby Caterpillars crop2

Caterpillars on an apple tree in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Caterpiller on Leaf

Caterpillar on a leaf

Automeris illustris Automeris (caterpillar) - Laslovarga

Caterpillar of Belize

Hebomoea glaucippe cat sec

Caterpillar of great orange tip resembling the common green vine snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)

Cabbage looper in cocoon

Prepupa of cabbage looper in its cocoon

Caterpillar (locomotion) 04

Locomotion of a small Geometrid caterpillar.

See also


  1. ^ Eleanor Anne Ormerod (1892). A text-book of agricultural entomology: being a guide to methods of insect life and means of prevention of insect ravage for the use of agriculturists and agricultural students. Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co.
  2. ^ Roger Fabian Anderson (January 1960). Forest and Shade Tree Entomology. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-02739-3.
  3. ^ "Caterpillar". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. (accessed: March 26, 2008).
  4. ^ "Geometridae." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 19 September 2017.
  5. ^ Hall, Donald W. (September 2014). "Featured Creatures: hickory horned devil, Citheronia regalis". University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b Scoble, MJ. 1995. The Lepidoptera: Form, function and diversity. Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-19-854952-0
  7. ^ Meyer-Rochow, Victor Benno (1974). "Structure and function of the larval eye of the sawfly Perga". Journal of Insect Physiology. 20 (8): 1565–1591. doi:10.1016/0022-1910(74)90087-0.
  8. ^ Kukal, O.; B. Heinrich & J. G. Duman (1988). "Behavioral thermoregulation in the freeze-tolerant arctic caterpillar, Gynaeophora groenlandica". J. Exp. Biol. 138 (1): 181–193.
  9. ^ Bennett, V. A. Lee, R. E. Nauman, L. S. Kukal, O. (2003). "Selection of overwintering microhabitats used by the arctic woollybear caterpillar, Gynaephora groenlandica" (PDF). Cryo Letters. 24 (3): 191–200. PMID 12908029.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  10. ^ Greene, E (1989). "A Diet-Induced Developmental Polymorphism in a Caterpillar" (PDF). Science. 243 (4891): 643–646. Bibcode:1989Sci...243..643G. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.243.4891.643. PMID 17834231.
  11. ^ Dussourd, D. E. "Biparental Defensive Endowment of Eggs with Acquired Plant Alkaloid in the Moth Utetheisa Ornatrix." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 85.16 (1988): 5992-996. Print.
  12. ^ Malaque, Ceila M. S., Lúcia Andrade, Geraldine Madalosso, Sandra Tomy, Flávio L. Tavares, And Antonio C. Seguro.; Andrade; Madalosso; Tomy; Tavares; Seguro (2006). "A case of hemolysis resulting from contact with a Lonomia caterpillar in southern Brazil". Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 74 (5): 807–809. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2006.74.807. PMID 16687684.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Darby, Gene (1958). What is a Butterfly. Chicago: Benefic Press. p. 13.
  14. ^ Bura, V. L.; Rohwer, V. G.; Martin, P. R.; Yack, J. E. (2010). "Whistling in caterpillars (Amorpha juglandis, Bombycoidea): Sound-producing mechanism and function". Journal of Experimental Biology. 214 (Pt 1): 30–37. doi:10.1242/jeb.046805. PMID 21147966.
  15. ^ Lycaenid butterflies and ants. Australian museum (2009-10-14). Retrieved on 2012-08-14.
  16. ^ Entry, Grant L. G., Lee A. Dyer.; Dyer (2002). "On the Conditional Nature Of Neotropical Caterpillar Defenses against their Natural Enemies". Ecology. 83 (11): 3108–3119. doi:10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[3108:OTCNON]2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 3071846.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Terrence Fitzgerald. "Pine Processionary Caterpillar". Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  18. ^ Monarch Butterfly. Retrieved on 2012-08-14.
  19. ^ Chamberlin, M.E.; M.E. King (1998). "Changes in midgut active ion transport and metabolism during the fifth instar of the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta)". J. Exp. Zool. 280 (2): 135–141. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(19980201)280:2<135::AID-JEZ4>3.0.CO;2-P.
  20. ^ Pierce, N.E. (1995). "Predatory and parasitic Lepidoptera: Carnivores living on plants" (PDF). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 49 (4): 412–453.
  21. ^ Rubinoff, Daniel; Haines, William P. (2005). "Web-spinning caterpillar stalks snails". Science. 309 (5734): 575. doi:10.1126/science.1110397. PMID 16040699.
  22. ^ "Caterpillars of Pacific Northwest Forests and Woodlands". USGS.
  23. ^ Lance, D. R.; Elkinton, J. S.; Schwalbe, C. P. (1987). "Behaviour of late-instar gypsy moth larvae in high and low density populations". Ecological Entomology. 12 (3): 267. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.1987.tb01005.x.
  24. ^ Tent Caterpillars and Gypsy Moths. Retrieved on 2012-08-14.
  25. ^ van Emden; H. F. (1999). "Transgenic Host Plant Resistance to Insects—Some Reservations". Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 92 (6): 788–797. doi:10.1093/aesa/92.6.788.
  26. ^ Diaz, HJ (2005). "The evolving global epidemiology, syndromic classification, management, and prevention of caterpillar envenoming". Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 72 (3): 347–357. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2005.72.347. PMID 15772333.
  27. ^ Redd, JT; Voorhees, RE; Török, TJ (2007). "Outbreak of lepidopterism at a Boy Scout camp". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 56 (6): 952–955. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2006.06.002. PMID 17368636.
  28. ^ Kowacs, PA; Cardoso, J; Entres, M; Novak, EM; Werneck, LC (December 2006). "Fatal intracerebral hemorrhage secondary to Lonomia obliqua caterpillar envenoming: case report". Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria. 64 (4): 1030–2. doi:10.1590/S0004-282X2006000600029. PMID 17221019.
  29. ^ Patel RJ, Shanbhag RM (1973). "Ophthalmia nodosa – (a case report)". Indian J Ophthalmol. 21 (4): 208.
  30. ^ Balit, C. R.; Ptolemy, H. C.; Geary, M. J.; Russell, R. C.; Isbister, G. K. (2001). "Outbreak of caterpillar dermatitis caused by airborne hairs of the mistletoe browntail moth (Euproctis edwardsi)". The Medical Journal of Australia. 175 (11–12): 641–3. ISSN 0025-729X. PMID 11837874.
  31. ^ Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi (eds.). "For Children: The Gates of Paradise, copy D, object 1 (Bentley 1, Erdman i, Keynes i) "For Children: The Gates of Paradise"". William Blake Archive. Retrieved January 31, 2013.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  32. ^ Michael Ferber (2017). A Dictionary of Literary Symbols. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781316780978.
  33. ^ Donna Spalding Andréolle & Veronique Molinari, eds. (2011). Women and Science, 17th Century to Present: Pioneers, Activists and Protagonists. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 36. ISBN 9781443830676.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  34. ^ Donna Spalding Andréolle & Veronique Molinari, eds. (2011). Women and Science, 17th Century to Present: Pioneers, Activists and Protagonists. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 9781443830676.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  35. ^ Boria Sax (1998). The Serpent and the Swan: The Animal Bride in Folklore and Literature. Univ. of Tennessee Press. p. 70. ISBN 9780939923687.
  36. ^ Karl A. E. Enenkel & Mark S. Smith (2007). Early Modern Zoology: The Construction of Animals in Science, Literature and the Visual Arts. BRILL. p. 157. ISBN 9789047422365.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  37. ^ Karl A. E. Enenkel & Mark S. Smith (2007). Early Modern Zoology: The Construction of Animals in Science, Literature and the Visual Arts. BRILL. p. 161. ISBN 9789047422365.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  38. ^ Karl A. E. Enenkel & Mark S. Smith (2007). Early Modern Zoology: The Construction of Animals in Science, Literature and the Visual Arts. BRILL. p. 162. ISBN 9789047422365.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
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  40. ^ Sherry Ackerman (2009). Behind the Looking Glass. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 9781443804561.
  41. ^ Sherry Ackerman (2009). Behind the Looking Glass. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 99. ISBN 9781443804561.
  42. ^ What's Alan Watching?: Mad Men, "The Fog"

External links

Arctiinae (moth)

The Arctiinae (formerly called the family Arctiidae) are a large and diverse subfamily of moths, with around 11,000 species found all over the world, including 6,000 neotropical species. This group includes the groups commonly known as tiger moths (or tigers), which usually have bright colours, footmen, which are usually much drabber, lichen moths, and wasp moths. Many species have "hairy" caterpillars that are popularly known as woolly bears or woolly worms. The scientific name of this subfamily refers to this hairiness (Gk. αρκτος = a bear). Some species within the Arctiinae have the word “tussock” in their common name due to people misidentifying them as members of the Lymantriinae based on the characteristics of the larvae.


Calosoma is a genus of large ground beetles that occur primarily throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and are referred to as caterpillar hunters or searchers. Many of the 167 species are largely or entirely black, but some have bright metallic coloration. They produce a foul-smelling spray from glands near the tip of the abdomen. They are recognizable due to their large thorax, which is almost the size of their abdomen and much wider than their head.In 1905, Calosoma sycophanta was imported to New England for control of the gypsy moth. The species is a voracious consumer of caterpillars during both its larval stage and as an adult, as are other species in the genus. For this reason, they are generally considered beneficial insects. Several species of this beetle, most notably the black calosoma (Calosoma semilaeve) are especially common in the California area.

Caterpillar (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

The Caterpillar (also known as the Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar) is a fictional character appearing in Lewis Carroll's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Caterpillar D9

The Caterpillar D9 is a large track-type tractor designed and manufactured by Caterpillar Inc. It is usually sold as a bulldozer equipped with a detachable large blade and a rear ripper attachment.

The D9, with 354 kW (474 hp) of gross power and an operating weight of 49 tons, is in the upper end of Caterpillar's track-type tractors, which range in size from the D3 57 kW (77 hp), 8 tons, to the D11 698 kW (935 hp), 104 tons.

The size, durability, reliability, and low operating costs have made the D9 one of the most popular large track-type tractors in the world.

Caterpillar Energy Solutions

Caterpillar Energy Solutions GmbH, previously MWM GmbH and Deutz Power Systems (DPS), is a mechanical engineering company based in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. For many years it was known as Motoren-Werke Mannheim (MWM). In 2009 the company was the third-largest producer by revenue of gas and diesel engines.The main focus of production is gensets (gas and diesel engines) for the generation of electrical energy from 400 to 4,300 kWel per unit. It also provides consulting, designing and engineering, construction and commissioning of plants as well as global aftersales service. The company also has its own training center.

Caterpillar Inc.

Caterpillar Inc. is an American Fortune 100 corporation which designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, markets and sells machinery, engines, financial products and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. It is the world's largest construction equipment manufacturer.

In 2018, Caterpillar was ranked #65 on the Fortune 500 list and #238 on the Global Fortune 500 list. Caterpillar stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.Caterpillar Inc. traces its origins to the 1925 merger of the Holt Manufacturing Company and the C. L. Best Tractor Company, creating a new entity, the California-based Caterpillar Tractor Company. In 1986, the company reorganized itself as a Delaware corporation under the current name, Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar's headquarters are located in Deerfield, Illinois; it announced in January 2017 that over the course of that year it would relocate its headquarters from Peoria, Illinois, to Deerfield, Illinois, scrapping plans from 2015 of building an $800 million new headquarters complex in downtown Peoria.The company also licenses and markets a line of clothing and workwear boots under its Cat / Caterpillar name.

Caterpillar machinery is recognizable by its trademark "Caterpillar Yellow" livery and the "CAT" logo.

Challenger Tractor

The Challenger Tractor was the world's first rubber tracked agriculture tractor, created by Caterpillar Inc. in 1986. The original model was a Challenger 65 featuring the Mobile-Trac System (MTS) consisting of rubber tracks and a suspension system. The MTS combined the flotation and traction of steel tracks with the versatility of rubber tires. The use of tracks gave the machines increased tractive performance compared to traditional four wheel drive tractors equipped with tires. The Challenger 65 began as a 270 gross HP machine used primarily for heavy tillage.

In 1995 Caterpillar introduced the first "row crop" tracked machines with the Challenger 35, 45 and 55. These machines ranged in power from 130 KW PTO to 168 KW and were designed to be used for a variety of tasks the larger machines could not. The Challenger tracked tractor was produced by Caterpillar at their Dekalb, Illinois location until the Challenger name and all of its associated agricultural assets were sold to AGCO.Since 2002, when the brand was purchased by AGCO, Challenger tractors have been manufactured at the company's Jackson, Minnesota facility. At the time AGCO purchased the Challenger brand most Challenger dealers were also Caterpillar construction equipment dealers. Although AGCO has shifted focus of the Challenger tractor to the agricultural market, the construction market is still an important sector for the tractors as AGCO still manufactures specially configured machines for use with pull-type earth moving equipment.The Caterpillar Challenger MT875B was the most powerful production tractor available during its span with 430 KW gross engine power. In 2007, the MT875B broke the world record for most land tilled in 24 hours with a custom-made, 14 m disc harrow fabricated by Grégoire Besson. It tilled 644 ha. The tractor consumed 4.42 liters/ha diesel fuel.The current production of Challenger tractors has expanded to include both tracked and wheeled type tractors. Both types are available in either row-crop or flotation type configurations depending upon the preference of the customer. Since their purchase in 2002, the Challenger brand has used a Caterpillar diesel engine in the majority of their models. However, with the introduction of the D series of each tractor model, AGCO began implementing the use of AGCO POWER branded engines that are Tier 4i/Stage 3B emission compliant by using e3, a Selective Catalytic Reduction system which injects urea in engine's exhaust gas stream to reduce nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emitted to the atmosphere.

Continuous track

Continuous track is a system of vehicle propulsion used in tracked vehicles, running on a continuous band of treads or track plates driven by two or more wheels. The large surface area of the tracks distributes the weight of the vehicle better than steel or rubber tyres on an equivalent vehicle, enabling continuous tracked vehicles to traverse soft ground with less likelihood of becoming stuck due to sinking.

Modern continuous tracks can be made with soft belts of synthetic rubber, reinforced with steel wires, in the case of lighter agricultural machinery. The more common classical type is a solid chain track made of steel plates (with or without rubber pads), also called caterpillar track or tank tread, which is preferred for robust and heavy construction vehicles and military vehicles.

The prominent treads of the metal plates are both hard-wearing and damage resistant, especially in comparison to rubber tyres. The aggressive treads of the tracks provide good traction in soft surfaces but can damage paved surfaces, so some metal tracks can have rubber pads installed for use on paved surfaces. Other than soft rubber belts, most chain tracks apply a stiff mechanism to distribute the load equally over the entire space between the wheels for minimal deformation, so that even heaviest vehicles can move easily, just like a train on its straight tracks.

The idea of continuous tracks can be traced back as far as 1770. However, the stiff mechanism was first introduced by Hornsby & Sons in 1904 and then made popular by Caterpillar Tractor Company, with tanks emerging during World War I. Today, they are commonly used on a variety of vehicles, including snowmobiles, tractors, bulldozers, excavators and tanks.

East Peoria, Illinois

East Peoria is a city in Tazewell County, Illinois, United States. The population was 23,402 at the 2010 census. East Peoria is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area, located across the Illinois River from downtown Peoria. It is home to many Caterpillar Inc. facilities.

The city is also the site of the home campus of Illinois Central College, a regional community college and the Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino. The main commercial area of East Peoria is just across the river from downtown Peoria. In concert with the renovation of old Caterpillar factories, the development of the downtown Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center, and the renovation of Interstate 74 and of the area's bridges, East Peoria's downtown and urban area have developed as well. In 2011 and 2012, a major renovation of Washington Street and other downtown and city streets took place, and a full-service Holiday Inn Center featuring a high-level restaurant has been added. Ground was broken in June 2012 for the new Fondulac District Library, which opened in November 2013. The new East Peoria City Hall, adjacent to the library with a shared Civic Plaza, was built and dedicated in 2015.

Electro-Motive Diesel

Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) is an American manufacturer of diesel-electric locomotives[sic], locomotive products and diesel engines for the rail industry. The company is owned by Caterpillar through its subsidiary Progress Rail Services.Electro-Motive Diesel traces its roots to the Electro-Motive Engineering Corporation, a designer and marketer of gasoline-electric self-propelled rail cars founded in 1922 and later renamed Electro-Motive Company (EMC). In 1930, General Motors purchased Electro-Motive Company and the Winton Engine Co. and in 1941 expanded EMC's realm to locomotive engine manufacturing as Electro-Motive Division (EMD).

In 2005, GM sold EMD to Greenbriar Equity Group and Berkshire Partners, which formed Electro-Motive Diesel to facilitate the purchase. In 2010, Progress Rail Services completed the purchase of Electro-Motive Diesel from Greenbriar, Berkshire, and others.

EMD's headquarters, engineering facilities and parts manufacturing operations are based in McCook, Illinois, while its final locomotive assembly line is located in Muncie, Indiana. EMD also operates a traction motor maintenance, rebuild and overhaul facility in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

As of 2008, EMD employed approximately 3,260 people, and in 2010 it held approximately 30 percent of the market for diesel-electric locomotives in North America.


The Limacodidae or Euclidae are a family of moths in the superfamily Zygaenoidea or the Cossoidea; the placement is in dispute. They are often called slug moths because their caterpillars bear a distinct resemblance to slugs. They are also called cup moths because of the shape of their cocoons.The larvae are often liberally covered in protective stinging hairs, and are mostly tropical, but occur worldwide, with about 1000 described species and probably many more as yet undescribed species.

Maschinenbau Kiel

Maschinenbau Kiel GmbH designed, manufactured and marketed marine diesel engines, diesel locomotives and tracked vehicles under the MaK brand name. The three primary operating divisions of Maschinenbau Kiel GmbH were sold to different companies in the 1990s.

Rheinmetall acquired the military vehicles division in 1990. Siemens acquired the locomotive manufacturing division in 1992. Siemens sold the locomotive division to the current owner, Vossloh, in 1998. Caterpillar Inc. acquired the marine diesel engine division in 1997.

Both Vossloh and the marine diesels division of Caterpillar are still based in Kiel, Caterpillar continues to use MaK brand name on their products. The companies are major employers in Kiel.

Monarch butterfly

The monarch butterfly or simply monarch (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae) in the family Nymphalidae. Other common names depending on region include milkweed, common tiger, wanderer, and black veined brown. It may be the most familiar North American butterfly, and is considered an iconic pollinator species. Its wings feature an easily recognizable black, orange, and white pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 cm (​3 1⁄2–4 in) The viceroy butterfly is similar in color and pattern, but is markedly smaller and has an extra black stripe across each hindwing.

The eastern North American monarch population is notable for its annual southward late-summer/autumn migration from the northern and central United States and southern Canada to Florida and Mexico. During the fall migration, monarchs cover thousands of miles, with a corresponding multi-generational return north. The western North American population of monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains often migrates to sites in southern California but has been found in overwintering Mexican sites as well. Monarchs were transported to the International Space Station and were bred there.


Moths comprise a group of insects related to butterflies, belonging to the order Lepidoptera. Most lepidopterans are moths, and there are thought to be approximately 160,000 species of moth, many of which have yet to be described. Most species of moth are nocturnal, but there are also crepuscular and diurnal species.

Ophiocordyceps sinensis

Ophiocordyceps sinensis (formerly known as Cordyceps sinensis), is known in English colloquially as caterpillar fungus, or by its more prominent names yartsa gunbu (Tibetan: དབྱར་རྩྭ་དགུན་འབུ་, Wylie: dbyar rtswa dgun 'bu, literally "summer grass, winter worm"), or dōng chóng xià cǎo (Chinese: 冬蟲夏草) or Yarsha-gumba or Yarcha-gumba, यार्सागुम्बा (in Nepali language). It is an entomopathogenic fungus (a fungus that grows on insects) in the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. It is mainly found in the meadows above 3,500 meters (11,483 feet) in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Bhutan, India and Tibet. It parasitizes larvae of ghost moths and produces a fruiting body which used to be valued as a herbal remedy. However, the fruiting bodies harvested in nature usually contain high amounts of arsenic and other heavy metals so they are potentially toxic and sales have been strictly regulated by the CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration) since 2016.O. sinensis parasitizes the larvae of moths within the family Hepialidae, specifically genera found on the Tibetan Plateau and in the Himalayas, between elevations of 3000 m and 5000 m. The fungus germinates in the living larva, kills and mummifies it, and then a dark brown stalk-like fruiting body which is a few centimeters long emerges from the corpse and stands upright.

O. sinensis is classified as a medicinal mushroom, and its use has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine as well as traditional Tibetan medicine. The hand-collected, intact fungus-caterpillar body is valued by herbalists as medicine, and because of its cost, its use is also a status symbol.This fruiting bodies of the fungus are not yet cultivated commercially, but the mycelium form can be cultivated in vitro. Overharvesting and overexploitation have led to the classification of O. sinensis as an endangered species in China. Additional research needs to be carried out in order to understand its morphology and growth habits for conservation and optimum utilization.

Perkins Engines

Perkins Engines (officially Perkins Engines Company Limited), a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc, is primarily a diesel engine manufacturer for several markets including agricultural, construction, material handling, power generation and industrial. It was established in Peterborough, England, in 1932. Over the years Perkins has expanded its engine ranges and produces thousands of different engine specifications including diesel and petrol engines.

Progress Rail Services

Progress Rail Services Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar since 2006, is a supplier of railroad and transit system products and services headquartered in Albertville, Alabama, United States. Founded as a recycling company in 1982, Progress Rail has increased the number of its product and service offerings over time to become one of the largest integrated and diversified suppliers of railroad and transit system products and services in North America. Progress Rail markets products and services worldwide and maintains 110 facilities in the United States, 34 in Mexico, four in Canada, two in Brazil, five in UK, one in Italy, and one in Germany. Progress Rail is organized into two divisions: Engineering & Track Services (ETS) and Locomotive & Railcar Services (LRS).


Sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨, pronounced [sɯꜜɕi] or [sɯɕiꜜ]) is a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice (鮨飯, sushi-meshi), usually with some sugar and salt, accompanying a variety of ingredients (ネタ, neta), such as seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the one key ingredient is "sushi rice", also referred to as shari (しゃり), or sumeshi (酢飯). The term sushi is no longer used in its original context; it literally means "sour-tasting".

Sushi is traditionally made with medium-grain white rice, though it can be prepared with brown rice or short-grain rice. It is very often prepared with seafood, such as squid, eel, yellowtail, salmon, tuna or imitation crab meat. Many types of sushi are vegetarian. It is often served with pickled ginger (gari), wasabi, and soy sauce. Daikon radish or pickled daikon (takuan) are popular garnishes for the dish.

Sushi is sometimes confused with sashimi, a related dish in Japanese cuisine that consists of thinly sliced raw fish, or occasionally meat, and an optional serving of rice.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a children's picture book designed, illustrated, and written by Eric Carle, first published by the World Publishing Company in 1969, later published by Penguin Putnam. It features a caterpillar who eats his way through a wide variety of foodstuffs before pupating and emerging as a butterfly. The winner of many children's literature awards and a major graphic design award, it has sold almost 50 million copies worldwide. It has been described as having sold the equivalent of a copy per minute since its publication. It has been described as "one of the greatest childhood classics of all time." It was voted the number two children's picture book in a 2012 survey of School Library Journal readers.The Very Hungry Caterpillar uses distinctive collage illustrations (Carle's third book, and a new style at the time), 'eaten' holes in the pages and simple text with educational themes – counting, the days of the week, foods, and a butterfly's life stages. There have been a large number of related books and other products, including educational tools, created in connection to the book. The caterpillar's diet is fictional rather than scientifically accurate, but the book introduces concepts of Lepidoptera life stages where transformations take place including the ultimate metamorphosis from 'hungry caterpillar' to 'handsome butterfly', and it has been endorsed by the Royal Entomological Society.

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