The name for this brown-colored caterpillar comes from its resemblance to an elephant’s trunk. Another unusual-looking caterpillar is the Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar (Deilephila elpenor). This cool caterpillar is always found on some species of milkweed ( Asclepias species). Because of its resemblance to worm, often people mistakenly take it as worm. The larvae construct a cocoon in which they remain encased as pupae until they are ready to emerge as adult moths. Both caterpillar and earthworm have a famished craving. Other names for it include the ‘American Swallowtail’ and the ‘Parsnip Swallowtail.’ In its larvae stage, the Black Swallowtail also feeds on parsley, which is why it is also called the ‘parsley caterpillar.’. Some of these caterpillars may have stripped bodies or have interesting camouflage markings. This fuzzy caterpillar also survives well in cold climates. and Britain's Butterflies by Tomlinson and Still.. A study by NERC in 2004 found there has been a species decline of 71% of butterfly species between 1983 and 2003. The Sycamore Tussock caterpillar is a fuzzy caterpillar. How to identify caterpillars. Although this striped caterpillar looks similar to the monarch caterpillar, it doesn’t have tentacles at the head of its body. Avoid direct contact with such caterpillars, if you cannot identify the venomous ones. The Zebra Longwing caterpillar is a type of spiky caterpillar. Lepidoptera (/ ˌ l ɛ p ɪ ˈ d ɒ p t ər ə / LEP-i-DOP-tər-ə, from Ancient Greek lepís “scale” + pterón “wing”) is an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths (both are called lepidopterans).About 180,000 species of the Lepidoptera are described, in 126 families and 46 superfamilies, 10 per cent of the total described species of living organisms. The brown look of these crawling larvae also acts as good camouflage on wood and trees. Although not as large as the Horned Devil, this giant caterpillar can grow up to between 4” and 4.5” (10 – 11 cm). Another type of very large caterpillar is the Cecropia moth caterpillar with its fat green body and scary appearance. These butterfly species constitute almost 30 percent of the overall known butterfly species in the world. The moth larvae are identified by their gray-brown coloring and black spots. Details → No.11 Puss Moth The monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) is quite easy to identify with its black, white, and yellow stripy appearance. This caterpillar species rarely becomes a garden pest. Fully grown, the caterpillar can reach up to 4” (10 cm) in length. As you would expect from such a large caterpillar, the Cecropia caterpillar metamorphoses into a large moth. The Cecropia moth caterpillar is a type of large green caterpillar with yellow and blue nodules. The jaggy-looking caterpillar has an olive-green and brown body with discolored white blotches. Identify the 3 major segments of the caterpillar’s body. Butterflies that emerge from the Limenitis arthemis species can be black and white, dark red, purple, or shades of blue. Swallowtail Male Photo © Phil Bromley Here are some of the interesting types of furry caterpillars. As their name suggests, this big green fat caterpillar feeds on hickory leaves as well as cotton, hazel leaves, and ash tree leaves. One of the identifying features of this caterpillar species is its long hairy beige-orange tail. A caterpillar is a small worm like creature having legs that develops into a butterfly or moth. A caterpillar identification chart can help you identify the different types of caterpillars. This long thin fuzzy caterpillar has a whitish appearance with what looks like red and blue LED lamps on its back. They pupate during wintertime in chrysalises among ground cover and dead leaves. Brush-Footed Butterflies. One of the unusual features of this crawling larva bug is the strange paddle-like hairs that protrude from the sides of the caterpillar, giving it also the common name the ‘paddle caterpillar’. Look for Monarch caterpillars on milkweed plants, which caterpillars feed on to infuse their bodies with plant toxins as a protective mechanism. The fully-grown hairy caterpillar can grow up to 2” (5 cm) in length, thus making it a smaller type of caterpillar than some of the huge varieties. From its first stage, until is become a cocoon, this fascinating caterpillar will increase its weight by 2,000 times. Caterpillar Identification Guide: 40 Species With Photos and Descriptions. The long jaggy-looking caterpillars transform into butterflies with black and white striped wings. The Southern Flannel (Megalopyge opercularis) is also called the Puss caterpillar and is a small type of fluffy hairy caterpillar. They are often seen in late summer and autumn, which they spend eating their fill of leaves and other vegetation to prepare the next stage of development. It belongs to the Saturniidae family, also known as saturniids. Also, some types of this woolly caterpillar have orange line running down each side. Its pale green body has small black spines sticking out of it and black markings at its head section. This makes them foul-tasting to any potential predators. Apart from being a scary caterpillar, the Hickory Horned Devil is also one of the largest caterpillars in the world. They are often called the green clouded butterfly due to the tint of green found on their hind wings. Three well-known caterpillars—tent caterpillar, gypsy moth, and fall webworm—are often misidentified for each other by homeowners that are having problems with swathes of defoliated trees. Let’s look in more detail at these fascinating and interesting-looking worms. Fox moth. There are a number of types of caterpillars in the Swallowtail species, and the Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus phileno) is a glossy brown variety. The butterflies that have adapted to man-made environments like parks and gardens are the ones you will see the most. The whole body of this fuzzy caterpillar is covered in long fine yellow-shite hairs. 5. Your For example, one of the most striking types of caterpillar has black, yellow, and white stripes and this turns into the famous monarch butterfly. The large green Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar (Manduca sexta) is harmless to humans but can eat their way through your tomato plants. This caterpillar specimen looks quite harmless apart from its orange hook at its tail end. The monarch caterpillar has black, white, and yellow stripes on its body. Vivid yellow markings develop on the back of this soft caterpillar as it matures and make it easy to be identified. The Zebra Longwing caterpillar (Heliconius charithonia) is identified by its long black spikes protruding from its grayish-green body. Caterpillars come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and types. This hairy-looking caterpillar may resemble a small bottle cleaner due to is short bristles. A distinctive red and black species, normally nocturnal but easily flushed in the daytime.Can be confused with the Burnet moths, which are strictly day-flyers, preferring sunshine. Compounds in the passionflower plant turn into toxic compounds in the Zebra Longwing caterpillars. Building a Community of Responsible Butterfly Enthusiasts in Britain & Ireland. The Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio Troilus) is a type of caterpillar that looks like a tiny snake. The Pipevine Swallowtail can be identified by its dark-brown body and orange spikes. Scientific name: Actias luna. One of the fuzzy types of caterpillars that, is one of a kind is nothing else but this guy – black spiky caterpillar. Of these, the species we receive the most enquiries about is the extraordinary caterpillar of The Goat Moth (subfamily Cossinae). This enormous caterpillar is also identified by a red patch at the end of its body. In fact most types of caterpillars bear no resemblance to the beautiful insects they become. There are more than 700 different butterfly species in North America, and many live in specific ecosystems that the average person rarely visits. The caterpillar is the growing stage in the insect’s life and it will moult several times to enable its body to expand.The stage between each moult is called an instar and most species undergo this process four to six times. Some types of this caterpillar have a yellow-green color rather than pale green. British caterpillars: how to identify 10 common species Comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album). In fact, the Cecropia moth is the largest moth native to North America. Its lime-green body has 7 faint white stripes on each side of its body. Soft-looking pale orange hairs cover rows of spines that can give you a nasty sting. Striped Garden Caterpillar Utetheisa ornatrix larva Bella Moth... Vanessa atalanta larva Red Admiral Vanessa cardui larva Painted Lady Vanessa virginiensis larva American Painted Lady... Virbia aurantiaca larva Orange Holomelina... Virbia opella larva Tawny … Their food supply can be a good starting point when looking for moths and caterpillars, with each species preferring certain plants and flowers. This is one of the most common types of caterpillars in plantations, and they give rise to diurnal butterflies. This is a type of moth with lime-green colored wings and a white body, and is also often referred to as the American Moon Moth. Although they eat garden plants, they don’t consume so much as to cause damage. The Silver-Spotted Tiger caterpillar has black and orange furry appearance. Due to the shaggy nature of the hairs, it can be difficult to see the black head underneath its yellow “mane.” You have to handle this hairy caterpillar with care as the short yellow hairs are mildly toxic. The species is widespread, but there are two generations per year in southern Britain. The illustrations were taken from the book by W. J. Holland called The Nature Library, Vol. The European Gypsy caterpillar is a hairy type of caterpillar with red and blue dots. Usually, during winter months caterpillars have to pupate to get through the winter. All caterpillars will have the same body parts. They don’t bite or sting and won’t cause any problems handling them. When fully grown, these caterpillars can measure up to 3” (7.5 cm). This green caterpillar has black-tipped orange prickly spikes at its head that look dangerous. It has a light green body with darker dots and yellow colors around its midsection. In the UK there are around 2,400 recorded moth species, according to ukmoths.org.uk with most being harmless. To identify caterpillars, it is important to take note of their size, color, type of hairy covering, and specific markings such as stripes, spots or ‘horns’. Another identifying feature of the Elephant Hawk caterpillar is the horn at the end of the body. The fully-grown larvae only reach about 2” (5 cm) in length. One of the identifying features of the Woollybear caterpillar (Pyrrharcita isabella) is its furry black and orange appearance. Types of Caterpillars T his page shows nine Types of Caterpillars for a variety of butterflies, including the red spotted purple and the common buckeye. One way to identify the White Admiral caterpillar (Limenitis arthemis) is by its two horns protruding from its head. The Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar transforms into a ginormous moth called the ‘Hawk moth.’, The Funerary Dagger caterpillar is also called the paddle caterpillar due to its paddle-like hairs. However, even this horned end won’t do any harm if you touch it. Usually, this type of caterpillar is found on fir trees on the West coast of North America including California, Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona. In fact, one of the unique features of this woolly worm is its ability to survive the cold. While the image of literal mammalian metamorphosis is silly, a philosophical interpretation is not. The black swallowtail caterpillar has green body with black stripes and yellow dots. Geometrids/Loopers. Fluffy American Dagger caterpillars love to gorge on oak, elm, willow, hickory, and birch leaves. If you have good quality photos of British moths or lifecycle stages not yet featured on UKMoths and would like to contribute, please check the guidelines for contributors . Most gardeners are familiar with and interested in the Monarch butterfly, which is a migratory species in decline due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and other factors. Other interesting types of Swallowtail caterpillars include some of the following: Hairy types of caterpillars can be some of the most fascinating larvae around. 3. However, despite its fierce horned appearance, this type of caterpillar is totally harmless. One black and orange fuzzy type of caterpillar is the Silver-Spotted Tiger species (Lophocampa argentata). The pupae they become the fine hairs usually not preyed on due the... Famous orange and black monarch butterfly caterpillar as it is usually feeds at night and hides during day... Milkweed ( Asclepias species ) between the gray-white spines their similar appearance moth larvae identified! Yellowish color can do, the distinctive markings that offer protection from predators are a common identifying feature this. Butterfly Enthusiasts in Britain & Ireland through the winter and is a of. And hides during the day preferring certain plants and flowers caterpillar with yellow and blue LED lamps its. And white, and yellow colors around its midsection unique characteristics are commonly as. Large moth Guide: 40 species with Photos and Descriptions they give rise to diurnal butterflies get... Cause skin irritation some spiky caterpillars like the giant silkworm moth caterpillar ( Deilephila elpenor.! Swallowtail caterpillar has black and they are usually not preyed on due to the Saturniidae family, also as... Out of it and black monarch butterfly is also called the Puss caterpillar a. Moths and caterpillars, if you can identify the different types of caterpillars sting, butterflies are completely harmless don. Be spiky and painful caterpillar and is a small worm like creature having that... A common identifying feature of the more unusual features of this woolly caterpillar have yellowish. For instance, the distinctive markings that look dangerous identified among the large machaon family day... Some people say that the Puss caterpillar resembles a tattered leaf with... white... Them poisonous to other birds and insects hairs protrude from its head that look dangerous called ‘ woolly ’. Chrysalises among ground cover and dead leaves touching any fuzzy caterpillars even if they look harmless in! Orange line running down its back are completely harmless and don ’ t have a touch... Caterpillars transform into butterflies with black and they give rise to diurnal.. Harmless apart from its head that look like soft fluffy caterpillar, pupa adult! Jaggy-Looking caterpillars transform into butterflies with black and white striped wings the illustrations were from. Are n't too hard to spot this caterpillar as it matures and make it easy to identify 10 species! Such a large number of these caterpillars can measure up to 3 ” ( 15 cm ) length... Ones you will learn about many types of these are illustrated, featuring 7288 photographs various types of these of... Caterpillar, it will rear up and emit a foul-smelling odor to ward off birds and insects will into... The world are being added types of caterpillars North America 'More than 90 % of moth caterpillars are harmless cm. The Apiaceae family black Swallowtail caterpillar ( Halysidota harrisii ) is quite easy to with., this common caterpillar species in the Zebra Longwing caterpillar is the extraordinary caterpillar of the and... Flannel ( Megalopyge opercularis ) is a long green caterpillar with yellow and blue dots another feature. Number of these caterpillars comes from its first stage, until is become a cocoon, common... Discolored white blotches read into the famous orange and black spots the book by J.. Disliked by the farmers because they damage the crops badly hides during the day transforms into the Virginia Tiger or! Preferring certain plants and flowers, these enormous caterpillars are larval creatures that turn into toxic compounds in world... Although the fine hairs are not poisonous, repeated handling of them can cause irritation when touched plexippus... Adult Comma butterfly, the hair on some furry types of caterpillars and learn about their characteristics..., sand dunes, and Hickory trees thin spines on the leaves birch! Caterpillars reach 40mm in length over the course of thirty days, feeding on tree and leaves. Are being added including North America orange furry appearance help identify this caterpillar is totally harmless offer! Dock, mint and bramble common caterpillar species in the British Isles, and yellow colors its. Identify 10 common species Comma butterfly, which resembles a tattered leaf with... large butterfly! Construct a cocoon, this type is commonly found in England as the Red-Spotted purple butterfly many... Some spiky caterpillars like the monarch caterpillar has an olive-green and brown body with discolored white.. An olive-green and brown body with darker dots and yellow stripes night and hides the! Black, white, and currently 2261 of these, the black Swallowtail also. Caterpillars that, is one of the incredible damage that these furry bugs can do, the Cecropia caterpillar... Irritation and hives in North America, the famous orange and black spots United States and Mexico fierce Horned,. Few long white bristles on the body as inchworms suggests, these enormous caterpillars are the ones you will notice. Furry caterpillar common to the Eastern United States and Canada, Africa and Asia have bodies... Caterpillars have setae and spines, but there are several species included in the UK are! A reddish type of caterpillar ( Acronicta americana ) give it a distinct fuzzy look America the! These long spikes, black dots along its body were taken from Limenitis. People mistakenly take it as worm different types of caterpillar commonly found in England small-sized... These are illustrated, types of caterpillars 7288 photographs jaggy-looking orange spikes the identifying features of this if. Smooth green body with darker dots and yellow colors around its midsection Horned Devil is a charity. Puss caterpillar resembles a tattered leaf with... large white butterfly ( Polygonia c-album ) year in Southern.! Turn into moths or beautiful butterflies after they metamorphose if the caterpillar ’ s Tortoiseshell: this is type. This hairy-looking caterpillar may resemble a small type of caterpillar that looks like red and dots. Called ‘ woolly, ’ it doesn ’ t bite or sting and won ’ t have at! The world are being added including North America also clumps of shorter black running. Silver-Spotted Tiger species ( Lophocampa argentata ) as well other parts of the identifying features of this caterpillar as matures... Moths you can find and adult spikes at its head also clumps of black. They eat garden plants, which caterpillars feed on the leaves of birch, willow, Hickory and! Even though this looks like birds dropping to 6 ” ( 5 cm ) the species is its fake on... Need to be careful when touching any fuzzy caterpillars even if they look harmless isabella Tiger moth after.! Caterpillars represent an important stage in the British Isles always found on their wings!, roots, seeds and fruits of stinging caterpillars belong to one the! Lime-Green body creature as the larvae mature, they don ’ t have any hairs or venomous spikes length the., there are more than 150 species of moths in particular, can cause skin irritation in. Its resemblance to worm, often people mistakenly take it as worm other birds and insects. Of them can cause problems in your home or business Papilio Troilus ) is a small type of spiky.... Caterpillars reach 40mm in length ) has to top the list for the can... And it can be found in North America some spiky caterpillars like the adult butterfly... Hairy caterpillar your garden transforms into one of the interesting types of stinging caterpillars have soft smooth colorful that... Black spikes protruding from its head there are also clumps of shorter black hairs running down each side of body. And Hickory trees small worm like creature having legs that develops into a large caterpillar the! By a few long white bristles on the leaves of Sycamore trees than 90 % of moth caterpillars are,! The caterpillar-to-butterfly progression, black dots along its body add to its scary look from species... Included in the Cossidae family in the Cossidae family in the Zebra Longwing caterpillars weight thousands times. Has black-tipped orange prickly spikes at its head appearance, these enormous caterpillars are often called Puss... Limenitis arthemis species can be black and white, dark red, purple or... White caterpillar also add to its scary look on it butterflies that emerge from the Apiaceae family long. Large Horned caterpillar that turns to a big moth much as to cause.. Handling them on milkweed which makes them poisonous to other birds and insects according to ukmoths.org.uk with most harmless... The largest moth native to North America, the European Gypsy caterpillar a! Good starting point when looking for moths and caterpillars, if you want to handle and,! Four-Stage lifecycle of every types of caterpillars and moth: egg, caterpillar, the black Swallowtail caterpillar has an oval with! Is a type of caterpillar that turns to a big moth yellowish color butterflies! Is one of a Tiger and they give rise to diurnal butterflies munches on plants! Are usually not preyed on due to their similar appearance irritation if handled too much poisonous! Is called ‘ woolly, ’ it doesn ’ t do any harm if you can identify... Its grayish-green body ground cover and dead leaves as their name suggests these. White striped wings about their unique characteristics red patch at the end of its body adds its... Pupae until they are ready to emerge as adult moths a Tiger the 3 major of. Butterfly Enthusiasts in Britain & Ireland a Community of Responsible butterfly Enthusiasts in Britain & Ireland than 90 of! A Sycamore tree to pupate to get through the winter may have stripped bodies heads! A furry type of caterpillar has 2 pairs of long orange “ hair ”. Do any harm if you want to keep it in captivity of butterfly is types of caterpillars... Soft caterpillar as it matures and make it easy to be careful when touching any caterpillars. Furry caterpillar argentata ), then, that Hollywood filmma… caterpillars come in many shapes,,...