Related topics: larvae ยท insects

Toxic caterpillars spark Dutch health scare

Millions of tiny caterpillars that shoot toxic hairs have triggered a health scare in the Netherlands, with hundreds of people seeking medical help for symptoms including severe skin irritation and asthma attacks.

Pesticides found in monarchs' milkweed near farm fields

Conservation organizations across the United States plant milkweed to combat the loss of monarch butterflies, whose populations have declined around 90 percent in the last two decades. Where they plant may be important, according ...

Interplay of pollinators and pests influences plant evolution

Brassica rapa plants pollinated by bumblebees evolve more attractive flowers. But this evolution is compromised if caterpillars attack the plant at the same time. As bees pollinate them less effectively, the plants increasingly ...

Caterpillars listen to voicemail by eating soil

Leaf-eating caterpillars greatly enrich their intestinal flora by eating soil. Even effects of plants that previously grew in that soil can be found back in bacteria and fungi in caterpillars. Researchers from the Netherlands ...

Climate change may affect ecological interactions among species

With herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, insectivores, frugivores, scavengers and decomposers, Earth's ecosystems function within a vast web of interactions among plants, animals, insects, fungi and microorganisms. A fundamental ...

Haze smoke affects butterfly caterpillars

NUS biologists have discovered that haze affects the survival and development of butterflies, which could have an adverse impact on our environment.

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Caterpillar

Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera (the insect order comprising butterflies and moths). They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture. Many moth species are better known in their caterpillar stages because of the damage they cause to fruits and other agricultural produce.

The etymological origins of the word are from the early 16th century, from Middle English catirpel, catirpeller, probably an alteration of Old North French catepelose: cate, cat (from Latin cattus) + pelose, hairy (from Latin pilōsus).

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