Q:

Where do caterpillars come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Caterpillars get their start as eggs laid by other caterpillars on plants, according to About.com. Before caterpillars turn into butterflies they lay their eggs in appropriate locations to start the next generation.

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Full Answer

The start of a caterpillar is one much like other bugs in that the parent lays eggs, and after a time, the larva come out of the eggs. The larva eat these egg shells as their first meal and then move on to eating constantly. As a matter of fact, a caterpillar can eat as much as 27,000 times its body weight within its life cycle, which lasts only a few weeks. The caterpillar continues to eat to build strength, which allows it to grow to maturity and begin laying new eggs. This starts the process over again, giving life to a new generation of caterpillars. Although there are many different types of caterpillars, they have virtually the same process for life. Some prefer cooler areas and lay their eggs high in trees in nests that look like spider webs. Other caterpillars prefer low areas in the grass to lay their eggs in. Some caterpillars can take over trees with egg-filled nests that soon turn into hundreds of caterpillars.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do caterpillars eat?

    A:

    Caterpillars mostly eat plant material, but some eat insects. The caterpillars of clothes moths chew through fabric. When they first hatch, many caterpillars eat their own eggshells. Some species of caterpillars are cannibals.

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  • Q:

    What eats caterpillars?

    A:

    Several predators consume caterpillars, including birds, bats, nematodes and reptiles. Insects such as beetles and flies also eat caterpillars. Caterpillars survive in the wild through the use of several defense mechanisms meant to either hide them from their predators or assist in fighting them.

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  • Q:

    How long do caterpillars live?

    A:

    The length of a caterpillar's life varies tremendously and depends upon its species, but most caterpillars stay in their larval stage for a few months before entering a cocoon. They then emerge from this pupae stage as moths or butterflies.

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  • Q:

    What do monarch caterpillars eat?

    A:

    Monarch butterfly caterpillars are famous for eating milkweed plants. Indeed, monarch and queen butterflies are called "milkweed butterflies" because of the food source for the caterpillars and a nectar source for the adults.

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