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Top 10 Beautiful Caterpillar Photos

Updated on September 13, 2014
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About Amazing and Colorful Caterpillars

Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. A lot of them look quite attractive and beautiful due to their bright colors and interesting shapes - whether these are meant to help a caterpillar blend in with the environment, or warn potential predators of its poisonous nature. On this page you will find a collection of top 10 amazing caterpillar photos that I've found particularly interesting.

Cerura Vinula Moth Caterpillar Photo

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This is one of my favorite caterpillar photos of all I've seen! The little guy has a funny face and a pair of awesome red tails. It grows into a Puss Moth that is found in Europe and North Africa. This Cerura vinula caterpillar sure looks cute, but Wikipedia says these things can even defend themselves by spraying formic acid if provoked.

Saddleback Caterpillar (Acharia Stimulea) Photo

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You can certainly see where this caterpillar gets its name from! I would like to enlarge it a few thousand times and use it as my epic mount in World of Warcraft. Acharia Stimulea is a very colorful and unusual larva of a moth that's native to North America. It belongs to a family of so-called slug caterpillars which have distinctive, flattened shapes. The spikes you see in the photo actually contain venom; the stings can be painful and even cause nausea.

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio Troilus) Caterpillar

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This is one of my favorite cute caterpillar photos. The little guy looks like he's saying "Hello there" with a funny face. It kind of looks like a snake, too - apparently that's a defense mechanism meant to scare away predators. Besides that it can also use a stink attack to ward off foes. Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar turns into a butterfly found in North America; it is also the state butterfly of Mississippi.

Giant Peacock Moth (Saturnia Pyri) Caterpillar

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Saturnia pyri is yet another awesome caterpillar that is found in Europe. It turns into a big pretty butterfly called Giant Peacock Moth. It wouldn't be very impressive if it weren't for those brightly colored, almost neon-like spots. This caterpillar kind of reminds me of a tiny crawling cactus.

Spurge Hawk-Moth (Hyles Euphorbiae) Caterpillar

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This smooth black Spurge Hawk-Moth caterpillar is actually used a terrible biological weapon... Or to be more precise, an agent of weed control against the leafy spurge. This poisonous weed releases toxins that prevent other plants from growing underneath it; however, it's nothing this brave Hyles euphorbiae caterpillar can't handle. OM NOM NOM.

Stinging Rose Moth (Parasa Indetermina) Caterpillar Photo

This is another slug caterpillar from the Limacodidae family, so called because of a supposed resemblance to a slug (although if you ask me, it looks much more awesome). It almost reminds me of some sort of sea creature. Like the name suggests, Stinging Rose (Parasa indetermina) caterpillars are somewhat poisonous, and the bright colors are there to warn potential predators that they should stay away.

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar Photo

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This weird, furry creature that looks like a brush of some sort is a Banded Tussock Moth (Halysidota tessellaris) caterpillar. It uses toxic alkaloids that it acquires from plants to defend itself. The butterflies live in North America.

Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora Cecropia) Caterpillar

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This colorful cactus-like caterpillar is native to the North America. It grows to be huge (can get over 10 centimeters!) and turns into a giant silk moth. Like the name suggests, the Hyalophora cecropia butterfly is really majestic and can have a wingspan of over 13 cm.

Automeris Io Moth Caterpillar Photo

This neon-green Automeris io caterpillar looks really cool. However, the moth it turns into is even more awesome. They live in North America and can have wingspans of over 8 centimeters. The larvae feed in groups and are often seen traveling in single-file processions all over the plant they're devouring.

Gypsy Moth (Lymantria Dispar) Caterpillar

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While the adult Gypsy Moths look somewhat boring, the caterpillars look truly spectacular. They were brought to US by a French scientist Leopold Trouvelot back in 1868. Now they are considered a major pest in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.

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5 Interesting Facts About Caterpillars

  • Caterpillars have about 4,000 muscles - compare that to us puny humans who have only 629.
  • They do not have good vision - caterpillars only posess primitive eyes called stemmata. However, they also use antennae and some caterpillars can feel the vibrations of the plant they are on.
  • Caterpillars breathe through spiracles: small openings along its sides. Some aquatic larvae even have gills and are able to breathe underwater!
  • Some caterpillars can defend themselves by using poisonous hairs, unpleasant smell and even by spraying acid.
  • It takes about 5000 silkworms to make a pure natural silk kimono. China manufactures about 54% of world's silk production.

Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar Video

Did I say top 10 list? Well, here's a caterpillar video bonus! This hickory horned devil (Citheronia regalis) is huge and quite menacing, but apparently they're pretty much harmless.

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    • Stephanie36 profile image

      Stephanie 3 years ago from Canada

      I love caterpillars. :) They're so fascinating to watch and it's amazing how they can move.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Who needs fairies in the garden when there are amazing creatures such as these lovely larvae? Beautiful caterpillars!

    • josietook profile image

      josietook 4 years ago

      Those are some pretty cool caterpillars!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Such beautiful images thanks very much for writing about them and the images too.

    • Vera-S profile image

      Vera-S 4 years ago

      Such a coulorful and beautiful caterpillar photos. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      These are extraordinary. Thank you!

    • Sky Breeze profile image

      May Matthew 4 years ago

      It is such a colorful and beautiful collection. Thank you from a fellow insect lover!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      these are the best caterpillar photos

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      Wow these are some awesome caterpillar photos, I like the one with the eyes on top.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: shut up

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: sweet

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: swwet

    • profile image

      acregmed 5 years ago

      Extraordinary lens!!!

    • CaterpillarArts1 profile image

      CaterpillarArts1 5 years ago

      I don't think I can pick a favorite off of this list - all the caterpillars are cute!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: THEY are pretty amazing

    • mrsjordanjr profile image

      mrsjordanjr 5 years ago

      Cool lens.

    • profile image

      Miominmarte00 5 years ago

      So beautiful!

    • genuineaid lm profile image

      Vlad 5 years ago from USA

      I love the Cecropia Moth Caterpillar :)

      What a beautiful God's creation.

    • greenmind profile image

      FCM 5 years ago from USA

      very pretty, though that's not Automeris io and it turns into a MOTH, not a butterfly!

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 5 years ago

      Great lens! Awesome photos. I love caterpillars and butterflies.

    • profile image

      termit_bronx 5 years ago

      Great pictures!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: i now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I LOVE CATERPILLERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      These pictures are amazing!

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I heard certain kinds of caterpillars are poisonous. The 4th picture is cute but the 3rd one is downright demonic. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Caterpillars are so freakish/awesome/cute. Except for the gypsy moth caterpillar..... I unfortunately know all too well what that one looks like. We had a terrible invasion when I lived in Pennsylvania. Bleck!

    • adamfrench profile image

      adamfrench 5 years ago

      Thumbs up, great lens

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      A beautiful and fascinating lens. These caterpillars are works of art. I was amazed at the number of muscles that they have and the fact that some even have gills. This was so interesting. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love the Photos what else can I say bravo.xxx

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 6 years ago

      Awww, these are cute! btw, I just got 100 points for liking your lens, apparently it was my 900th like. Your caterpillar lens must be special! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Truly stunning photos! Caterpillars and butterflies are spectacular creatures! My favourite is definitely the very first picture (the tussock moth caterpillar with the cute antenna and tail). I remember finding one of those caterpillars as a child and naming it 'Fluffy'. If I ever venture to the US in the future, I'll definitely make the effort to see one of those hickory horned devil caterpillars!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      that is long

    • CarynJSwift56889 profile image

      CarynJSwift56889 6 years ago

      good lens for all

    • hotbrain profile image

      hotbrain 6 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      I'm a Memorial Day Bus Trip and found your beautiful lens! Squid Angel blessed! These are really cute caterpillar pictures. I really like the saddleback one!

    • Musicalcroc LM profile image

      Musicalcroc LM 6 years ago

      Interesting lens. Those photos are really pretty. Not sure if I would call the caterpillars "cute" though

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Oh my gosh, these are beauuuutiful! And that spice ... um ... *scrolling back up to get the name right* ... the spicebush swallowtail is CUTE. I could (almost) kiss its little face. Okay, enough shmoozing. Seriously, though, what a great collection of images. Beautiful creatures.

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 6 years ago from Minnesota

      It would appear that happynutritionist and I have the same taste for what we think is worth a blessing. I like this lens as well. You've just been given another April Fool's blessing.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      Blessed as part of the April Fools Angel Quest....I love these pictures, so cute!! Stepping away from my usual category to visit wildlife photos today, I love animals and the outdoors, but you'll find it featured on my Diet and Nutrition Angel page, look for "April Fools" link along the top:-)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      beautiful pictures. nicely done. ~blessed by a squid angel~

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      Oh wow, never seen the caterpillars so close, never thought that they're such a beautiful animal. The Spicebush Swallowtail is my favorite, seems like he's saying hello. What an amazing lens and thank you for writing a brief fact about each caterpillar. --- Blessed ---

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 6 years ago

      Love them all except the dreaded gypsy moth. :) The first one looks like he's posing for the camera.

    • Glenn619 profile image

      Glenn619 6 years ago

      i usually found caterpillars gross but at looking at them closely they really are beautiful

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      My word! It's worth while taking the time to look closely at these amazing creatures! You have found some incredible caterpillars.

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 7 years ago

      @norma-holt: Thanks a lot :)

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 7 years ago

      @VarietyWriter2: But they look awesome! Thanks for the blessing :)

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 7 years ago

      @Light-in-me: Thanks, glad you liked it. That weird green one is one of my favorites as well.

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 7 years ago

      @michelle8989: Thanks! :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Fabulous lens and great information on an important subject. Love the pics and captions. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and also on Save Planet Earth

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      They eat my plants! Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      Light-in-me 7 years ago

      Very cool pictures, the Cerura Vinula Moth Caterpillar looks like a strange space alien! The Spicebush is so cute and cool looking, it looks like a happy snake lol.

      Great lens,

      Robin :)

    • michelle8989 profile image

      Michelle 7 years ago from AZ

      Oh my goodness, I'm in love with this lens!! :) Thumbs up!

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 7 years ago

      @HorseAndPony LM: Thanks a lot! I'm really glad you liked it :)

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      My daughter and I love caterpillars and garden for them. Your images are amazing. My favorite is the Spicebush Swallowtail. It seems to have an attitude. Blessed - http://www.squidoo.com/horseandpony-squidangel

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 7 years ago

      @myraggededge: Thanks so much! :)

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 7 years ago

      Great photos and I love the accompanying commentary. The green feathery one is awesome!

      Blessed by a Squid angel :-)