Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Fiery Skipper

Genus-Species: Hylephila phyleus

Host Plants: Larvae have been known to feed on Cynodon dactylon (Bermudagrass), Paspalum sp. (dallisgrass), Stenotaphrum secundatum (St. Augustinegrass), Digitaria sanguinalis (hairy crabgrass), Agrostis sp. (bentgrass), Eragrostis hypnoides (teal lovegrass), Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass), Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane), and Axponopus compressus (broadleaf carpetgrass).

Habitat: Old fields, roadsides, and flower gardens.

Comments: The Fiery Skipper is a common species throughout the southern U.S. and moves north nearly every year. It probably arrives in Wisconsin regularly, though it is not usually very common, and should be looked for in the southern half of the state from late July through the first frost.

Bog Fritillary, Boloria eunomia

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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

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