Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Compton Tortoiseshell

Genus-Species: Nymphalis vaualbum

Host Plants: Aspen and Cottonwood (Populus species), Willows (Salix species) and Paper birch or White birch (Betula papyrifera)

Habitat: Deciduous woodlands, especially trails, openings, and woodland edges.

Comments: Although found throughout the state, the Compton Tortoiseshell is more common in the northern counties.

Bog Fritillary, Boloria eunomia

Caterpillar Anatomy: A Tutorial

Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy, while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars share certain morphological features.

Bee Quiz Graphic

Caterpillar Quiz

Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus

How Caterpillars Change Into Butterflies

How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult bitterfly.