Fast Facts for Kids
Caterpillar Facts for Kids

Caterpillar Facts for Kids

  • Common Name: Caterpillar
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Description: Larva of Months and Butterfly
  • Distribution: Worldwide (Except Antarctic)
  • First Appeared: ~300 million years ago

15 Caterpillar Facts For Kids

  1. Caterpillar is the common name for the larva stage of all butterfly and moth species in the Lepidoptera order.
  2. You can identify a caterpillar by their soft, elongated bodies, with one or more colors, walking on a leaf or branch.
  3. One of the most recognized caterpillar larvae in the world belongs to the monarch butterfly.
  4. Caterpillar larvae are believed to have existed on our planet for at least 125 million years.
  5. There are 178,500 different types of caterpillars between butterflies (~18,500) and moths (~160,000).
  6. You can find caterpillar larva all around the world, except for Antarctica.
  7. Caterpillars can be found in any habitat with green and flowering plants.
  8. The vast majority of caterpillar larva are herbivorous, but between 1 and 3% of them are carnivorous.
  9. Caterpillars are ferocious eaters and spend most of their time eating, to grow bigger and become an adult butterfly or moth.
  10. A caterpillar is the 2nd of the 4 stages in a butterfly or moths lifecycle.
  11. A caterpillar emerges from a butterfly or moth egg and will grow until it forms a pupa (chrysalis) which will be what an adult butterfly or moth emerges from.
  12. Caterpillar larva come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors, which all varies by the species of butterfly or moth.
  13. Those colors are just for visual enjoyment, they can help camouflage them from predators or give the impression to a predator they are poisonous.
  14. Some caterpillars can create a chemical defense that is toxic, smells bad or confuses a predator.
  15. Caterpillars are sometimes classified as pests; they can do great damage to crops and trees.

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Caterpillar Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the below images will be helpful for your research on caterpillars. Below are sixpictures of various caterpillar species. These pictures should help you better understand the different types of caterpillars found around the world.

A Chinese Swallowtail Buttery Caterpillar

A picture of a Chinese swallowtail buttery caterpillar.

A Drinker Moth Caterpillar

A picture of a drinker moth caterpillar.

A Green Luna Moth Caterpillar

A picture of a green Luna moth caterpillar.

A Hawk Moth Caterpillar

A picture of a hawk moth caterpillar.

A Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar

A picture of a monarch butterfly caterpillar.

A Mourning Cloak Butterfly Caterpillar

A picture of a mourning cloak butterfly caterpillar.

Caterpillar Resources

We hope you found the above caterpillar facts, information, data, and pictures both fun and educational. You can continue to research caterpillars using one of the below additional resources. They were chosen for their credibility and accuracy; you can trust their information when it comes to caterpillars. Thank you for choosing Fast Facts for Kids.