How Many Legs Does A Caterpillar Have? | Pestclue

How many Legs does a Caterpillar have?

How many legs does a caterpillar have? A caterpillar is an insect which means that it has three main body parts which are the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Although all insects have basically six legs, it might not be the same in the case of a caterpillar, so join us as we find out how many legs a caterpillar has.

You might have seen caterpillars in your yard, yet you did not know that a caterpillar is the very beginning of a moth or a butterfly’s life cycle. Caterpillars are very hungry insects and eat a lot of food. Keep reading to find out more about caterpillars and interesting facts.


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Facts About Caterpillars

There are over 180,000 different species of caterpillars. Caterpillars are also termed insects, but do insects have 3 body parts and 2 antennae on their heads? Yes! These three body parts are called the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.

  • The head of a caterpillar is just like the head fixed on any other animal or human being but smaller. The head is where the positioning of the caterpillars’ eyes and antennae are.
  • The thorax on the other hand is the middle part of the body between the head and the abdomen which is like a junction.
  • The abdomen is the tail end of the body which houses the belly and the digestive system.

Caterpillars can come in lots of different colors and are usually the same color as their habitat, as their habitat affects the caterpillar’s color or home. They try hard to blend in so that they do not get eaten by predators (this is termed camouflage), and especially have to watch out for their most common predators which are the wasps and birds, these two kinds of animals really like to attack and eat up caterpillars.


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Most groups of this insect are herbivores, which means that they feed on crops, while some feed on tiny insects, and the omnivores feed on crops and insects such as an ant. The diet of a particular caterpillar depends on its habitat when a caterpillar that feeds on crops changes location it might choose to adapt to feeding on ants cause that can be the only source of food in that area. The funny fact about their diet is that when they turn into a butterfly their diet does not differ as to how it changes in the caterpillar stage, by that time they feed mainly on crops.

These insects do not play with their food as they eat quickly, they also need the energy to change their stage, the stage of a caterpillar is of four stages which are egg, larva, pupa, and the adult which all must be completed.

Moreover, into a brief segment take a look at these interesting fact about caterpillars:

  •  Caterpillars eat a lot: Caterpillars begin eating the moment they are out of their egg. After pupating, a caterpillar can be 100 times larger than when it emerged from its egg form.
  • Caterpillars shed their skin: Not only snakes, but caterpillars also need to grow so when they grow and get very big for their skin to cover, they crack their back to divide their skin and shed it. They shed only four to five times before they pupate.
  •  Caterpillars draw out silk for a cocoon: The silk that is used to make a cocoon comes from the spit gland. The caterpillar has a big opening on its lips called the spinneret where the liquid silk is drawn out. Once it comes in contact with air, the silk becomes harden.
  •  Caterpillars have six eyes: Most caterpillars species have six pairs of eyes called ocelli or stemmata. Their eyes are capable of sensing light intensity but cannot see images or some colors.
  • Caterpillars do not have lungs: These insects breathe through a spiracle on both sides of each of its body segments which are linked to a trachea. As the caterpillar walks, the air is pushed into the trachea and carbon dioxide is pumped out.
  • Caterpillars move like no other animals: The crawling movement of a caterpillar which is like a wave moving from back to front is not seen in any other movement of an animal.
  •  Caterpillar’s stomach moves on its own: A caterpillar’s belly is attached at the front and rear end and not to the walls of the caterpillar’s body. When the caterpillar walks, the belly moves with the rear end of the caterpillar and head instead of the body wall so the belly shows to go far ahead of the walls of the caterpillar’s body.
  • Caterpillars are a form of grub: Grubs are the larval stage of any insects. Since butterflies and moths have prolegs they are called caterpillars instead of just grubs.
  • Caterpillars don’t have teeth: These insects have mandibles that are tooth-like. They chew from both side-to-side instead of up and down like people and other animals.

The turning from a caterpillar to butterfly is extremely incredible but caterpillars are pretty amazing insects too!

However, as far as this you have known facts about caterpillars you did not know before and you might seem shocked about some that seem impossible for a caterpillar to accomplish at the level of its size.

Moreover, its high time you get your query answered on how many legs do caterpillars have.


Read also: What is a Group of Lions Called? Interesting Facts


How many Legs does a Caterpillar have?

These question has caused a big confusion, as not all web pages give a full insight about the legs of a caterpillar, some come to conclude that all insect has six legs so if a caterpillar is an insect then it has six legs.

However, the are true to a point but not that true as the caterpillar does not have only six legs, moreover, we conducted interesting and well-groomed research on the legs of a caterpillar feeding you with the right source of information.

Caterpillars show to have lots of legs but only six of them are true legs and are the most useful since caterpillars are insects. All the other legs are known as prolegs or “false legs”. The prolegs have tiny hooks on the ends which help with walking and climbing on walls to improve their sticky ability.

In addition, the total number of legs that the caterpillar has is eight in number as it has two types of legs, the prolegs and the thoracic.

Final insight

Having read all through this article, not only getting your query answered you have gained lots of interesting facts about the caterpillar and the stages of transformation from caterpillar to butterfly and lots of others. Most importantly the caterpillar’s main legs are six but the rest of it makes it easy for the caterpillar’s movement.

Furthermore, for more queries and contribution on how many legs does a caterpillar have. Feel very free to contact us for more explained details.

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