is a Caterpillar?
A caterpillar is the larval, or immature stage
of moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera Order).
They are wormlike and often brightly colored with
hair on their body. Most insects have a larval
stage known as a 'grub', when they have six legs.
Butterfly and moth grubs have up to ten extra
legs, called 'prolegs.' Since these extra legs
cause them to look and act differently, they are
called 'caterpillars.' Some caterpillars turn
into butterflies, but most turn into moths.
What is a Cocoon?
Adult female insects lay eggs and wormlike larvae
hatch from the eggs and when they are fully grown
they become helpless pupae. By one of the most
mysterious and wonderful processes in nature,
a pupa is transformed into an adult. This four-stage
life cycle is called complete metamorphosis. The
larvae of most moths and many other kinds of insects
including ants and fleas build cocoons around
themselves where all of the changes take place
from larva to pupa and from pupa to adult. Cocoons
are made of silk spun from two glands filled with
glue-like material. The larvae of many species
merely retreat to some secluded place or bury
themselves in the ground when they are getting
ready to become pupae. With the exception of Skipper
butterflies, all butterfly pupae (often called
chrysalides) are not enclosed in a cocoon but
are attached to a leaf or twig by a silken disk
or a band of silk.