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WikiProject Lepidoptera (Rated B-class, High-importance)
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I <3 ???[edit]

(I think this article is great! Maybe it can turn into a featured article.) --spiralhighway 22:50, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

The article is good but wouldn have to be expanded significantly to be a featured article. --Mad Max 22:53, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

No Scientific Classification? --Domthedude001 22:41, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Possibly useful bits from a dup:[edit]

"By Don Herbison-Evans

Did you know:

Caterpillars have several thousand muscles (humans only have about 500)

Caterpillars from the family TORTRICIDAE can move backwards faster than they can move forwards.

Caterpillars from most species in the family SPHINGIDAE have a wicked-looking spine on the tail, but it is in fact entirely harmless.

Caterpillars from species in the genus Doratifera have pockets of stinging spines that they evert when they feel threatened. These caterpillars are often called Spitfires, but they do not actually spit.

When threatened, caterpillars of species in the family PAPILIONIDAE evert a pair of horns from behind the head which produce a pungent aromatic smell, but which are entirely harmless.

Caterpillars from species in the genus Triodes feed on poisonous plants, and accumulate the poisons in their body making them poisonous to predators like birds.

Whilst most species of caterpillars feed on leaves, some burrow into the soil feeding on roots, some bore into trees eating the wood, and caterpillars of the moth Argyrotoxa pompica feed on Koala droppings.

The caterpillars of some species will eat nearly any leaves put in front of them, and some eat only plants of one family, but caterpillars of Leptocnaria reducta will eat only leaves from the Cape Lilac Tree (Melia azedarach).

The female moths of the Australian species Teia anartoides have no wings, and the species disperses by the young caterpillars making an open gossamer sail out of silk, and sailing away on it in the wind.

The scientific name for a Caterpillar is Larva (plural Larvae). This name is presumably taken from that of the Roman spirits called Larvae, probably because butterflies and moths might be viewed as the spirits of the Caterpillars from which they come.

Most insect taxonomy and identification has been performed on the adult insect forms, the imagos. This makes the identification of Caterpillars difficult.

See: "

Stan 07:41, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Where does this "thousands of muscles" idea come from. I cannot find it cited/referenced properly anywhere, including within this article. I'm not saying it isn't true, I just want to see a proper citation. --Ardeans (talk) 15:28, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Caterpillars in the arctic[edit]

Is the life cycle of the caterpillar speeded up in the arctic to compensate for the short summer? Does anyone know how the eggs survive over the winter? CambridgeBayWeather 09:29, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

  • At least one Lepidopteran, the Lymantriid Gynaeophora groenlandica takes 13 years or so to develop from egg to pupa. So no, not necessarily! Satyrium 23:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
    • Wow, there needs to be an entry on Wikipedia for that species. Also...I must say that caterpillars are some of the most varied and most beautiful animals I have ever seen.The_Irrelevant_One 15:32, 9 September 2006 (UTC)


How long do caterpillars / butterflies live?

  • It depends on the temperature and species. Satyrium 23:51, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


Caterpillars don't have brains, is this true?

  • No. Caterpillars definitely have brains. It's very easy to find scientific articles via google referring to caterpillar brains (e.g. [1])Average Earthman 08:34, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Picture help[edit]

Can anyone identify this? Image:CaterpillarJM.jpg I took the photo last week, in Aberlady, East Lothian, Scotland. Obviously if it is any use to an article, feel free to put it up. --Guinnog 18:28, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

There is a video of a caterpillar on YouTube named "Bolivia Bug" ( I have never seen anthing like it. Does anybody know what kinda of caterpillar it is? 11:47, 4 Aug 2006 (CST)

Take a look at this, if anyone comes here to look up the Bolivia Bug. One Fried Egg 14:33, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Citation style[edit]

The standard citation style in Biology is Harvard references; please keep the citations in this format, as per the guidelines on Wikipedia:Citing sources . Thanks.Satyrium 15:03, 5 September 2006 (UTC)


Hi. I just added a picture taken in Costa Rica of a hairy caterpillar. I was wondering if anybody might know the species... it would be appreciated. --Storkk 09:45, 8 October 2006 (UTC)


Hey, does Wikipedia endorse evolution? This article makes a reference to evolution, and I am wondering if that is considered POV. If it is, I would be glad to reword the article in a more factual manner. I, personally, think evolution is as much a theory as creation, and that Wikipedia should stick to a factual basis. Stormy 2021 03:25, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

maybe somebody wants to take a look at this part then, it seems to imply that the caterpillars were intentionally seeking out poisonous foods, so that they in turn would become poisonous, as a deliberate attempt to deter predators. which seems a little silly.

"The aim of all these aggressive defense measures is to assure that any predator that eats (or tries to eat) one of them will learn and avoid future attempts."


I took some pictures of what seems to a be a caterpillar with some kind of parasitic eggs on it. Just wondering if they would be helpful in any articles. 8thstar 21:40, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Those are cocoons of a parasitic wasp, probably Cotesia congregata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). --Ardeans (talk) 15:26, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

I took some pictures of a green furry catepillar Himasha nethmini (talk) 03:27, 21 June 2016 (UTC)


Are the little tiny caterpillars inside the green peas dangerous? Would the do any harm if I picked it up onto my hand?. My mum got really scared the other day.

na, you safe, i picked up numerous amounts of caterpillars when little and still alive.--Threeblur0 (talk) 16:21, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Article pics & logical ordering[edit]


i'm working on re-ordering the pics a bit on the article, since there seems to be room for some improvements.

don't want to step on anybody's toes here, so i'm seeking input/opinions/help

added a new lead pic, that seems better both artistically (feature quality image, or close to it), & as a generic representation of "a caterpillar"

Lx 121 (talk) 08:10, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Good to see someone tackling this. I would recommend a very notable caterpillar. Most Lepidoptera aren't known for their caterpillars, but I would recommend either the monarch or tobacco hornworm. I have a number of high res caterpillar images I uploaded, but they most are not widely known other than the luna moth (which might really only be known inside the US). I don't know how to break up the rest of the pictures, perhaps we could have a redirect for a page built around amateur identification of caterpillars for people by pictures?----Kugamazog (talk) 23:09, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
open to diff arrangements of the images, haven't figured out the optimum myself, but placing pics next to the subjects under discussion seemed a good start. wanted to use a good generic "caterpillar" image for the lead, since this isn't species specific, & though this one was pretty good: full length shot of subject, shows subject in motion/articulation, decent res, common variety of cat., & kind of interesting to look at, has some nice art qualities. if we go with something too exotic, it doesn't show the "general type" as well. gallery still needs work, & we could insert more in-article stuff i think. what about a section showing/discussing differnt types of caterpillar? at least broad, general classifications? Lx 121 (talk) 17:07, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

you or so mae if you do not me see

my name is malinda


The section in the article is not really about "classification"—it explains the origins of the names "geometrid" and "inchworm", describes some caterpillar anatomy, and mentions other groups with caterpillar-like larvae. Surely, text under this heading should be all about Lepidopteran (butterfly and moth) taxonomy, while retaining the bit about "similar insect larvae"?—GRM (talk) 15:19, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Please review[edit]

The Trekkie caterpillar, (of the Oecophoridae family) commonly found in North America, has developed a slow, almost unnoticed movement in which it catches its prey, and due to this almost casual walk, has become known as the 'Coolest of all caterpillars'

Sounds like a joke to me —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

It's gone. Looks like a piece of old vandalism that was masked by a few subsequent good edits. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 15:52, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Recently Discovered Species[edit]

On 03 May, 2010 at 20:00 Pacific Time, an episode of the Discovery Channel's television program, Nature's Deadliest, featured the Assassin Caterpillar. Not only is this previously unknown species fascinating, a Wikiarticle should also help serve as a public warning that the spines of this caterpillar are lethal to touch and can easily kill a human from contact. To create an antivenin requires harvesting a lot of spines, translating into a very high probability of fatality for the victim.
Christopher, Salem, OR (talk) 05:23, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Wiki List of programs broadcast by Discovery Channel,
Discovery Channel Website Programming List for Nature's Deadliest

reference for caterpillars that shoot acid in defense[edit]

There is a citation needed tag for that but I can't put the reference in. Here's the book link via google: Page 279 Caterpillars of Eastern North America: a guide to identification and natural history By David L. Wagner Princeton University Press, 2005 Link: [2] Thanks, LiPollis (talk) 16:25, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Article language form[edit]

Is this article supposed to be written in British English or American English (at the moment it's a mixture)? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 19:12, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Research section seems like an advertisement[edit]

I strongly doubt there's only one organization in the entire world researching caterpillars; or at any rate that they are so much more prominent than any other organization that they deserve an entire section which refers only to their website. Right now, it seems like the entire section is there just to promote the Earthwatch Institute (especially since it uses language like "explore the fascinating world of caterpillars"). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

I have removed the section, due to the issues you bring up. "Research" is what is responsible for most of the content in the article. If the Earthwatch Institute is especially noteworthy to caterpillar research/insect conservation, secondary, third-party sources are needed that verifies this, as presumably other orgs exist, and not all need mention, especially vouched for only by primary sources. --Animalparty-- (talk) 04:05, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Request to review statement about stemmata in the section "Classification"[edit]

The statement about the simple eyes of a caterpillar says "the number of stemmata (simple eyes); the sawfly larvae have only two, while a caterpillar has six." In a couple of sites, it was said that caterpillars have six pairs of stemmata. Can this be therefore re-checked?

Anupama Chenkamalam (talk) 18:38, 31 January 2015 (UTC)