The larval stage of the butterfly is called a caterpillar and their main purpose is to eat and grow. The commonly called “Hairy Molly” is one of the most familiar caterpillars; it is, in fact, the larvae of the small tortoiseshell butterfly (Aglais urticae).
How long does it take for a caterpillar to turn into butterfly?
First as an egg, then as a caterpillar, next as a pupa in its chrysalis, and finally, it emerges as a butterfly. This entire process takes about four weeks from start to finish; although the warmer it is, the shorter the cycle.
Stinging caterpillars have urticating hairs — hollow bristles that contain toxins from poison-gland cells. When touched, these structures can break and the poison is released. Reactions run the range from mild stinging and itching to intense pain and, in the case of the giant silkworm moth caterpillar, even death.
Woolly caterpillars prefer to feed on lambs quarters, violets and clovers. They also eat dandelions, nettles, sunflower, burdock, yellow and curly docks, and most wild plants. They occasionally feed on garden plants as well, including spinach, cabbage, other greens, asters and garden herbs.
Description: The woolly bear is a fuzzy, orange and black caterpillar that becomes a dull, yellow to orange moth with a fat, furry thorax and a small head. Ecology: One of our most familiar caterpillars, woolly bears are renowned wanderers. In spring, they gorge themselves, then molt into Isabella tiger moths.
A woolly's stiff bristles do not sting, nor is its body poisonous. But bristly hairs cause discomfort as they build up in the stomach linings of birds. Our native cuckoos are among the few local birds that can eat woolly bears and other hairy caterpillars.
These holes were likely created by hungry caterpillars. Although caterpillars do not have actual teeth like those found in animals like cats and dogs, they do have mouthparts they use for chewing.
While wooly bears are eating and growing, be sure they have plenty of fresh food to eat. They do not need water, because they gets moisture from the leaves. Mist the side of the container or a leaf with water and the wooly bear might be seen taking a drink.
Although some caterpillars have stinging hairs which can be quite painful to the touch, woolly bears are safe to touch. When handled, woolly bears curl up into a tight fuzzy ball and “play dead”. But the best-known is the black and brown banded woolly bear, the larva of the Isabella tiger moth.
It's time again to shine the spotlight on a certain caterpillar—the woolly worm! According to folklore, this fuzzy fellow has the ability to predict the weather. Folklore says that if the rusty brown band is wide (more segments), then it will be a mild winter. The more black there is, the more severe the winter.
These caterpillars can survive in temperatures as low as -90 degrees F. The woolly bear caterpillar has even been known to survive an entire winter completely frozen in an ice cube. When spring arrives, woolly bears spin fuzzy cocoons and transform into a moth - Isabella Tiger Moth (Photos).
The Woolly Bear will soon spin a cocoon and pupate eventually emerging as an adult Tiger Moth. When the caterpillar emerges as an adult it will have a short life span where it will need to find a mate and lay it's eggs to complete the life cycle. The adult moth will only live for one to two weeks.
This can range from about seven days to more than a year, but for a large number of species it is less than 30 days. The well-known monarch butterfly, for example, spends between nine and 14 days in a chrysalis, while the painted lady butterfly spends only seven to 10 days in the chrysalis.
OK, but here's my question: What does it mean when the woolly bear is white? Moyer's not sure, but he thinks the white caterpillar will eventually turn all black. "On a wild guess," he says, "it could be interpreted as a mild winter or very snowy winter due to its totally white color."
About Woolly Worms. The woolly worm (also spelled “wooly worm”) is actually a caterpillar or the larvae of the Isabella tiger moth. The tiger moth belongs to the arctiidae family, which has 11,000 species of moths around the world. If the woolly worm has more black than brown, the winter will be harsh.
This starts stage one and generation one of the new year for the monarch butterfly. In March and April the eggs are laid on milkweed plants. They hatch into baby caterpillars, also called the larvae. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch.
What Do Tiger Moths Eat? As a group, tiger moth caterpillars feed on a wide range of grasses, garden crops, shrubs, and trees. Some species, like the milkweed tussock moth, require specific host plants (in this example, milkweed).
Most adult butterflies drink nectar from flowers through their tongues, which function much like straws. A minority of butterflies almost never visits flowers, instead gaining sustenance from tree sap, rotting animal matter, and other organic material. Butterfly caterpillars almost all eat plant matter.
Camouflage: Most butterflies and moth protect themselves from predators by using camouflage. Some butterflies and moths blend into their environment so well that is it almost impossible to spot them when they are resting on a branch. Some butterflies are poisonous.
The adult butterfly has four wings that are covered with tiny scales that give them their colorful and diverse designs. They have six legs, two antenna, a head, compound eyes, a thorax, and an abdomen. They can sense the air for nectar with their antennas. Butterflies also have fairly good eye sight.
Common forms of butterfly or moth camouflage are wing patterns that resemble leaves or tree bark. Often, the scales on the top of a butterfly's wings are brightly colored, while the scales on the underside are patterned for camouflage while the butterfly rests. Butterflies get their colors from pigments and structures.