June 27, 2016

Witness the Double-Toothed Prominent (Nerice bidentata), in all its leaf-edge-mimicking glory!

Not surprisingly, Double-Toothed Prominents are a favorite around here. We love how accurately their double-toothed backs imitate the double-toothed elm leaves on which they l...

February 18, 2016


Anyone who’s had the pleasure of seeing them in their garden knows Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) moths are special. I was first introduced to hummingbird moths by my mother, who often sees them nectaring at flowers in my parents’ yard in Pennsylvania. Like ma...

February 12, 2016


We’re going to end this week’s celebration of winter survivalist caterpillars with a bonanza of three different species!


First, Euchlaena (species unknown). These caterpillars may overwinter in the leaf litter or attached to their host plant—scientists are unsure. In...

February 11, 2016


Today we bring you some gorgeous photos of Xanthotype caterpillars. There are two species native to the Northeastern US, Crocus Geometer (Xanthotype sospeta) and False Crocus Geometer (Xanthotype urticaria). These species may be impossible to identify from one another...

February 9, 2016


It’s 19 degrees and snowing in my New Hampshire backyard right now. It’s tough to imagine that we’ll begin holding open hours at the lab in less than two months! At moments like this, live caterpillars feel distant. Their winter existence and survival seem so unlikely...

January 29, 2016



As you may have noticed, The Caterpillar Lab has been hard at work this winter! We haven’t shared out about this yet, but one of our major projects has involved reading about the potential effects of climate change on caterpillars. Here, we...

January 26, 2016




Congratulations to those of you who correctly identified this week’s Caterpillar of the Week, the Woolly Bear (Pyrrharctia isabella)! A couple of our fans even mentioned seeing Woolly Bears crossing the road in fall—a common occurrence in many parts...

January 25, 2016




Who can identify this winsome caterpillar by its setae?


Wondering what the heck setae (pronounced see-tee) are? Setae is a scientific word for bristly hairs, usually used in reference to invertebrates. Although I think we humans s...

January 14, 2016


Our Caterpillar of the Week, Ashen Pinion (Lithophane antennata) has attracted lots of attention for its diet, which includes other caterpillars.


We’ve really appreciated our fans’ openness to learning about a caterpillar that can attack and eat other caterpillars. We...

January 6, 2016


ProLOGUE (Ha, Ha) / Disclaimer


Last month, when I wrote a post all about the osmeterium, I asked for suggestions regarding other anatomy you’d like to learn about. One request was for information about “hydraulics of prolegs.” I’ve been reading up on prolegs for weeks...

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