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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 2 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 3 years ago

      Those are some pretty cool caterpillars!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 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 4 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

      greenmind 5 years ago

      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.

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