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Top 10 Beautiful Caterpillar Photos

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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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

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.

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.

Comments

Stephanie from Canada on July 18, 2014:

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

Kylyssa Shay from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on March 28, 2014:

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

josietook on August 16, 2013:

Those are some pretty cool caterpillars!!

anonymous on August 08, 2013:

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

Vera-S on April 09, 2013:

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

anonymous on January 27, 2013:

These are extraordinary. Thank you!

May Matthew on January 25, 2013:

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

anonymous on November 21, 2012:

these are the best caterpillar photos

getmoreinfo on October 14, 2012:

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

anonymous on September 30, 2012:

@anonymous: shut up

anonymous on September 30, 2012:

@anonymous: sweet

anonymous on September 30, 2012:

@anonymous: swwet

acregmed on August 21, 2012:

Extraordinary lens!!!

CaterpillarArts1 on June 24, 2012:

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

anonymous on May 07, 2012:

@WriterJanis2: THEY are pretty amazing

mrsjordanjr on April 05, 2012:

Cool lens.

Miominmarte00 on March 26, 2012:

So beautiful!

genuineaid lm on March 23, 2012:

I love the Cecropia Moth Caterpillar :)

What a beautiful God's creation.

GreenMind Guides from USA on March 20, 2012:

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

mel-kav on March 18, 2012:

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

termit_bronx on January 13, 2012:

Great pictures!

anonymous on January 02, 2012:

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

anonymous on January 02, 2012:

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

WriterJanis2 on December 22, 2011:

These pictures are amazing!

jimmyworldstar on December 04, 2011:

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

anonymous on November 01, 2011:

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 on October 03, 2011:

Thumbs up, great lens

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on September 30, 2011:

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!

anonymous on July 30, 2011:

Love the Photos what else can I say bravo.xxx

WorldVisionary on July 24, 2011:

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! :)

anonymous on July 23, 2011:

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!

anonymous on July 13, 2011:

that is long

CarynJSwift56889 on June 15, 2011:

good lens for all

hotbrain from Tacoma, WA on May 29, 2011:

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 on April 28, 2011:

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

Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on April 07, 2011:

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.

Shari O'Leary from Minnesota on April 01, 2011:

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.

happynutritionist on April 01, 2011:

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 from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on February 21, 2011:

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

deyanis from Oz on February 04, 2011:

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 on February 04, 2011:

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

Glenn619 on January 16, 2011:

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

Jeanette from Australia on September 08, 2010:

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

Andrew Po (author) on September 02, 2010:

@norma-holt: Thanks a lot :)

Andrew Po (author) on September 02, 2010:

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

Andrew Po (author) on September 02, 2010:

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

Andrew Po (author) on September 02, 2010:

@michelle8989: Thanks! :)

norma-holt on September 01, 2010:

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 on September 01, 2010:

They eat my plants! Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

Light-in-me on September 01, 2010:

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 :)

Michelle from AZ on August 31, 2010:

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

Andrew Po (author) on August 31, 2010:

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

HorseAndPony LM on August 31, 2010:

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

Andrew Po (author) on August 31, 2010:

@myraggededge: Thanks so much! :)

myraggededge on August 31, 2010:

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

Blessed by a Squid angel :-)