Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Great Spangled Fritillary

Genus-Species: Speyeria cybele

Host Plants: Various Violet species (Viola species).

Habitat: Open fields and woodland edges. Can be found in both wet and dry habitats.

Comments: The Great Spangled Fritillary is found throughout the state from late June through August and into early September. The species is long-lived and many individuals that are found in late August and September are very worn with frayed and even missing parts and wings. They are often seen at nectar sources such as Common Milkweed, thistles, or Joe-Pye-Weed alongside the Aphrodite Fritillary in the southern part of the state, and in the northern counties with the Atlantis Fritillary.

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.