Caterpillar is one of four butterfly stages of the life cycle. Caterpillar hatch from the eggs and, as a rule, the first thing it does is to have egg shell. Then it starts to consume the host plant. Caterpillar spend the next few weeks eating and growing, as that is its main goal.
Caterpillars will change their appearance sometimes dramatically between their moults. An example would be a black swallowtail caterpillar. When it is very young, it is black and white saddle. By the time it was ready to pupate, it turned into a beautiful combination of stripes and dots with the colors yellow, white, black and green. This can make the identification more difficult, since their appearance depends on their age.
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