Q:

How do you tell if a caterpillar is a boy or girl?

A:

It is nearly impossible to tell if a caterpillar is male or female; most species must be dissected to determine gender. However, the gender of butterflies and moths can be determined by coloring, markings on the wings and other characteristics. For instance, male monarch butterflies have black spots on their wings that females do not have.

Caterpillars are one of four life stages for butterflies. Butterflies lay their eggs on plants, and it takes a few weeks for them to hatch as small caterpillars. Butterflies have a strong sense of taste, which they use before laying their eggs to discern whether a plant is a suitable food source.

Caterpillars eat constantly to grow into butterflies or moths. Upon maturing, caterpillars go into cocoons, where they transform. The lifespan of adult butterflies varies by species, from a week to almost a year. Butterflies can reproduce once or more per year; the number of broods varies by the climate of the butterflies' habitat. Many butterflies migrate over long distances, but some maintain territories where they chase away other species.

The gender of moths can be determined by color or size of antennae. Additionally, gender can be determined before moths hatch by counting the number of notches on the cocoon.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What eats a caterpillar?

    A:

    The predators of caterpillars are birds, ladybird beetles, yellow jackets and human beings. Caterpillars serve as a primary food source for numerous birds, such as the warbler species, tanagers and canopy-dwelling birds.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an azalea caterpillar?

    A:

    The azalea caterpillar is a caterpillar that primarily feeds on indica azalea plants. They heavily consume vegetation, but they are harmless to humans. Azalea caterpillars have been found in Florida, Maryland, Kansas and Arkansas.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long is a caterpillar in a cocoon?

    A:

    The third stage of a caterpillar’s life is the chrysalis, and it can vary from weeks to months or even years. The monarch butterfly lays dormant inside it’s chrysalis for approximately 2 weeks before coming out, while the anise swallowtail can take years to emerge.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kind of caterpillar is black and yellow?

    A:

    Caterpillars that are characterized by black-and-yellow coloration are the redhumped caterpillar, the yellownecked caterpillar, the cloudless sulfur caterpillar, the spotted tussock moth caterpillar and the American dagger moth caterpillar. The American dagger moth caterpillar and the yellownecked caterpillar are found throughout the eastern United States.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore