The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Feed me!

Spodoptera eridania (southern armyworm) | reared from lab colony on soybean

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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6 Responses to The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  1. Vasha says:

    Are those ocelli just back of the mandibles, or is this caterpillar entirely blind?

    • Yes, those are ocelli. They don’t do much other than detect light/dark and movement—certainly not able to make out images to any degree.

      • James C. Trager says:

        Ocelli, rather than the larval precursors of the compound eyes?

        • To be entirely correct, the “ocelli” of larval lepidopterans are more properly called stemmata and are, like most of the caterpillar body, “throw away” structures that are broken down during pupation. The resulting “soup” provides raw material for the imaginal discs, from which all adult body structures (incl. compound eyes) are built.

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