Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Caterpillars

Where have all the caterpillars gone? You see, since getting a shiny new camera to take some of my own images, I wanted to take some of the caterpillars and all sorts of bugs, because that is what I enjoy looking at. But it seems times have changed because as a child I could find loads of them, and now as an adult, not even 1! So is it because there are far fewer caterpillars these days or is it because I was much smaller back then and could see them on their own level?!? Well who knows, but in the meanwhile I thought we could take a look at someone else’s images of what I think is…

Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Caterpillars

The Christmas Lights Caterpillar
The Christmas Lights Caterpillar

10 – The Christmas Lights Caterpillar

Wiki Info: The Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is North America’s largest native moth. It is a member of the Saturniidae family or giant silk moths. Females with a wingspan of six inches (160 mm) or more have been documented. It is found as far west as the Rocky Mountains and north into the maritime provinces of Canada. The larvae of these moths are most commonly found on maple trees, but they have been known to feed on cherry and birch trees among many others.

Giant Silkworm Caterpillar
Giant Silkworm Caterpillar

9 – Giant Silkworm Moth

Wiki Info: The caterpillars are themselves extremely cryptic, blending in against the bark of trees, where the larvae commonly aggregate. The larvae, like most hemileucines, are covered with urticating hairs, but these caterpillars possess a uniquely potentanticoagulant venom.

Spotted Apatelodes
Spotted Apatelodes

8 – Spotted Apatelodes

Wiki Info: Apatelodes torrefacta, or Spotted Apatelodes, is a species of moth in the Bombycidae or Apatelodidae family. It is found from Maine and southern Ontario to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Wisconsin. The wingspan is 32–42 mm.

The Saddleback Caterpillar
The Saddleback Caterpillar

7 – The Saddleback Caterpillar

Wiki Info: The saddleback caterpillar, Sibine stimulea, is the larva of a species of moth native to eastern North America. The species belongs to the family of slug caterpillars, Limacodidae. It is also known as the “packsaddle”.

The Stinging Rose Caterpillar
The Stinging Rose Caterpillar

6 – The Stinging Rose Caterpillar

Wiki Info: Limacodidae or Euclidae is a family of moths in the superfamily Zygaenoidea or the Cossoidea the placement is in dispute. They are often called slug moths because their caterpillars bear a distinct resemblance to slugs. They are also called up moths because of the shape of their cocoons.

Wattle Cup Caterpillar
Wattle Cup Caterpillar

5 – Wattle Cup Caterpillar

Wiki Info: The Wattle Cup Caterpillar (Calcarifera ordinata) is a moth of the Limacodidae family. It is widespread in northern Australia, south to Geraldton, Alice Springs & Brisbane. The caterpillar is bright yellow with blue green and orange colours. There are a number of tubercles around its body. They have reduced legs and move using a slug-like movement of the underside of the body.

The big headed caterpillar
The big headed caterpillar

4 – The big headed caterpillar

Wiki Info: This bizarre creature is found below the altitude of 600m in undisturbed, subtropical rain forest, and survives entirely on the vine Carronia multisepalea, a collapsed shrub that provides the food and habitat the moth requires in order to breed. Due to habitat destruction and tourist disturbance it is listed as nationally endangered in Australia.

American Dagger Caterpillar
American Dagger Caterpillar

3 – American Dagger Caterpillar

Wiki Info: The young caterpillar is densely covered with yellow setae. The older caterpillar’s setae are either pale yellow or white. All instars have thin, black setae on the first and third abdominal segments. On the eighth abdominal segment, there is one tuft of black setae. The caterpillar will reach a length 50 mm (2 inches). Caution should be taken in handling the caterpillar, as the hollow setae may break off into human skin, releasing a toxin which can produce a rash.

Glass Jewel caterpillar
Glass Jewel caterpillar

2 – Glass Jewel caterpillar

Wiki Info: While not much is known about this, it is not even 100% certain that the “jewel caterpillar” Aizpuru photographed is Acraga coa, but it almost definitely belongs to the same family of moths, known as Dalceridae.

Darth Vader Caterpillar
Darth Vader Caterpillar

1 –  Darth Vader Caterpillar

Wiki Info: The larva or caterpillar of the Gulf Fritillary grows to approximately 4 cm (1.6 in) in length and is bright orange or dark red in colour and covered in rows of black spines on its head and back. The spines are soft to the touch and do not sting. However, the larvae are poisonous if eaten, as the bright colouration advertises.

179 thoughts on “Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Caterpillars”

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  4. So many amazing caterpillars, I bet they turn into even more amazing butterfly’s as well.

  5. I have always loved caterpillars too. As a matter of fact, I believe that I have all ( or nearly all) of these caterpillars on my Pinterest board called “Amazing Caterpillars.” Great post! Thanks for the like and for following my photoblog. Glenda

  6. Wow what an education this is! I’m honoured you looked into my little blog which is tame for now. So many different colours, styles, shapes etc. How can anyone think these are random as surely there must be a designer? That’s what I believe anyway. Intelligent design everywhere. This is first time I’ve ever seen photos like this. They are great. I’m an amateur who captured mystical faces and shapes before the earth was hit(though I’m sure I wasn’t unique). Who would believe these turn into another living entity which flies.

  7. Sadly that is half the problem with peoples fear of caterpillars, some look cute, but are deadly, and some look deadly but non-poisonous! When it comes to picking up caterpillars you never really know where you stand.

  8. I know the plants here in SoCal bloomed really early, so maybe the caterpillars have been and gone. I doubt it. I think about how many fewer butterflies I see now. Fewer birds, fewer wild flowers. Global warming?

  9. Yes exactly! I use to have one of those… could never make it look as good as it did in the adverts though! Try as I might, it always looked like a fuzzy toy on a string not like a fuzzy, cute pet with a life of it’s own! 🙁

  10. These are ca-ra-zy! Thanks so much for sharing these. I was quite surprised to find so many of these are in the US, as I’ve never seen any of these. And I remember too, that there used to be a lot of caterpillars. Perhaps this is just a bad year for caterpillars? Good luck in finding your own to photograph.

  11. As other people have said it is surprising how big some of these can grow to, already I have seen images of some 4-5 inches long! That is quite big indeed for a caterpillar.

  12. So we have some Pokemon, a Muppet or two, a couple extras from Alien, and at least one whose design would camouflage it from predators only if it hid inside an Easter basket. That’s a pretty great list right there.

  13. Yes, of course! We put it in a bucket to observe it, googled it and everything. It was quite amazing. We didn’t think it was a caterpillar because it was so large but alas it is. The kids loved it!

  14. Reblogged this on Can't Sleep Clowns Will Eat Me and commented: I once heard in a poem or was it a song that women were much like the caterpillar. I see how true that is now… can you pick out which one your personality fits.

  15. Wow isn’t nature awesome! No.8 makes me think of the type of character in a children’s programme that’s all fur with no face and just glides about making cute noises! No.1 is definitely alien! 🙂

  16. These are Amazing, nature at its most inventive :). I would be interested to see the next step of their evolution…are the moths and butterflies as beautiful as the caterpillars?

  17. Now all that I have ever seen is the ordinary green ones, and the odd orange and yellow ones now and again, but that is about it. And thank you for the kind worlds as always eacnovak.

  18. With caterpillars it is almost imposable to know what ones are venomous and which ones are not, unless you know them all by heart so it is probably best to think of them all as venomous.

  19. #4 and #1 must be the inspiration for aliens! #2 Is just awesome. Makes me want to squish it like it’s one of those squishy toys.

  20. Wow! I am so inspired by the Christmas light caterpillar…I can’t wait to make a piece of jewelry with those colors!!! The Saddleback was super funny.

  21. I never knew a creepy crawling bug could be so beautiful. I guess I am just used to the ordinary green ones. You did good today with a beautiful selection. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post!

  22. We actually had one of the “Christmas Light” ones in our backyard a few years ago. It was quite large…almost an inch in diameter and about 3 inches long. We were quite surprised! Thanks for the great post…pretty amazing creatures!

  23. #1 makes me think of the Tyranid from 40K. I find most caterpillars cute, but that one is positively terrifying (when imagined 100X my size).

  24. Awesome post! These are some very cool caterpillars. I actually featured the Saddleback caterpillar in one of my blog posts called Cutest Bugs EVER. >’.'<

  25. You have outdone yourself this time. Great compilation of miracles unfolding. Imagine the butterflies as well. Great job!

  26. Fascinating! Can I request a follow-up with photos of what these little guys look like post-metamorphosis?

  27. these are soo cool! One time I was in Florida with my family and we saw a giant bright green caterpillar on a fence, the sunlight was shinning through it and it glowed. it was the coolest thing ever. 🙂 it was years ago and I still remember it very vividly. 🙂

  28. Amazing form and colour. So glad we have the means to capture these images and share them.

    It may be too early in the season for caterpillars.

  29. I am not a fan of Creepy Crawlies right next to me, but I enjoyed seeing pictures of such unusual caterpillars. Thank You for not mentioning in the title they are edible. Mother Nature fascinates me with so many unusual creatures. Are they ones that become a butterfly or a moth? If so, any idea how they look in that form?

  30. Wow, they are amazing!! most of them look computer generated, its hard to believe that they are real! Mother nature is just excellent to think that she produces these little caterpillar art works!! My favourite one is definitely the The Saddleback Caterpillar!! They are all actually gorgeous!

  31. Reblogged this on Hello from me to you and commented:
    oh this is really interesting

  32. Omg, those ARE the most amazing caterpillars! If you had shown them to me without saying anything, I wouldn’t have know that they are caterpillars half of the time!

Which one did you like?