24 Colorful Caterpillars

24 Colorful Caterpillars


Though the palettes of caterpillars vary greatly, some colors are seen throughout the species, or at least in the photos in this post, but what may be more interesting then the palettes themselves is the patterns in which these colors are displayed.

These voracious leave eaters whose movements are graceful and fluid have six times as many muscles as a human and can be very harmful to humans. Some color inspiration is harmless, so here are 24 caterpillar inspired palettes.

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Nigel Jones
Mottled Umber

Caterpillars are the larval form of a member of the order Lepidoptera (the insect order comprising butterflies and moths). They are mostly phytophagous in food habit, with some species being entomophagous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered pests in agriculture. Many moth species are better known in their caterpillar stages because of the damage they cause to fruits and other agricultural produce.

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wiccked
upsidedown caterpill

Most caterpillars have tubular, segmented bodies. They have three pairs of true legs on the three thoracic segments, up to four pairs of prolegs on the middle segments of the abdomen, and often a single pair of prolegs on the last abdominal segment. There are ten abdominal segments. The families of lepidoptera differ in the numbers and positioning of the prolegs.

Caterpillars grow through a series of moults; each intermediate stage is called an instar.

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wakalani
in the garden

Caterpillars have 4,000 muscles (compare humans, with 629). They move through contraction of the muscles in the rear segments pushing the blood forward into the front segments elongating the torso. The average caterpillar has 248 muscles in the head segment alone.

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urtica
wooly bear

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 pupate into an adult form. Caterpillars grow very quickly; for instance, a tobacco hornworm will increase its weight ten-thousand-fold 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 blood.

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Don Van Dyke
Caterpickle

Caterpillar hair has been known to 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. Skin rashes are the most common, but there have been fatalities. Lonomia is a frequent cause of death in Brazil with 354 cases were reported between 1989 and 2005. Lethality ranging up to 20% with death caused most often by intracranial hemorrhage.

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JonHall
Punk caterpillar

Caterpillar hairs have also been known to cause kerato-conjunctivitis. The sharp barbs on the end of Caterpillar hairs can get lodged in soft tissues and mucus 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.

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

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slideshow bob
vapourer moth white caterpillar

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BugMan50

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*Micky
little friend

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Matthew Fang
beautiful soon...
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Amarand Agasi
a white spot

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[email protected]
Painted Cup Moth

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*Micky
Spotted Tussock Moth white-marked tussock

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Jeff Kubina

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MrClean1982
Crawl Before You Fly Spicebush swallowtai

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Michael Hodge

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Michael Hodge
Cecropia Moth Scarce Swallowtail

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macropoulos

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.mands.
lagartinha contorcio Tetrio sphinx

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from eye to pixel

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nashsnazzy
Gulf Fritillary banded sphinx

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poppy2323

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kevincollins123

saddleback cater Sycamore moth

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nutmeg66


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7 Comments
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 Comments

Miaka

What a great post!

At my childhood home, we had a tree with a several caterpillar nests in it, and every spring, literally thousands would crawl down the tree. They're so cute (but it was a little gross). haha

Very interesting!

bunigrl33

Thanks for giving me the creepy-crawlies. :) They're pretty, but looking at these photos made my scalp itch. I've seen those woolly-bear caterpillars in the oddest places - where there's no plants at all.

heykelley

yay, caterpillars!
larvae of the butterflies.
oh, and yes, moths too!

Orphan Annie

aaah, now I know what I loved up. the saddleback cater is awesome. :)

tofriday337

cool pics but no expaination to why caterpillars are so colorful?
is it a venom thing?
or the hair... why the hair?
I'm too lazy to investigate so if anyone knows...

thanks
Jenn

R3V0LUTii0N4RY

Awwh.
I was laughing so hard while reading this. Caterpillars are so cute! :D

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