The wonderful world of insects contains some of the most bizarre-looking creatures in existence and these weird caterpillars are no exception. Actually, a caterpillar is a young butterfly or moth that has just hatched out of its egg, so just a step in the whole butterfly metamorphosis thing. Their look varies from scary to cute, but they always grab my attention when I find one in my garden, especially the Woolly Bear. Those fuzzy caterpillars curl up like little balls of fluff!

Caterpillars  (or rather, moth and butterfly larvae) are commonly found feeding on leaves, although some types of caterpillars are cannibals and prey on other species. They often have been called “eating machines,” and grow very quickly; for instance, a tobacco hornworm will increase its weight ten-thousand-fold in less than twenty days, before turning into a beautiful butterfly.

Butterfly caterpillars are also incredible bodybuilders. A caterpillar body has about 4,000 muscles (compared to humans with 629) and no skeleton to sustain its shape. They are like tiny balloons inflated by their own blood moving through contraction of the muscles in the rear segments pushing the blood forward into the front segments elongating the torso.

While most of them may look harmless, hairy caterpillars had been known to be a cause of human health problems. Sharp barbs on the end of poisonous caterpillar hairs can get lodged in the eyes, and once they enter, they can be difficult to extract, often exacerbating the problem as they migrate across the membrane. This becomes a particular problem in an indoor setting with ventilation systems.

So much for the theory, now let’s move on to our beautiful macro photography collection. Enjoy these alien-looking green caterpillars pictures!

#1 Colorful Aristotle’s Silkworm

(Bamboos for: Jano De Cesare) [Saturnia pyri]

#2 Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: Slomoz)

#3 Possibly Poisonous Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: PhantomClickr)

#4 Fuzzy Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: rjdudley) [Apatelodes torrefacta]

#5 Spiky & Poisonous Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: Mr. Greenjeans)

#6 Fluffy Caterpillar: Yellow Woolly Bear

(Bamboos for: Mean and Pinchy)

#7 Weird Translucent Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: spiderman (Frank))

#8 Spiky Green Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: Hudson)

#9 Euclea Norba Moth Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: bayucca)

#10 Saddle Back Caterpillar

22 Weird and Beautiful Caterpillars

(Bamboos for: cotinis)

The saddleback caterpillar is a poison caterpillar with a painful sting.

#11 Fluffy Vapourer Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: nutmeg66)

#12 Cerura Vinula Moth Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: Lukjonis)

#13 Tailed Emperor Butterfly Larva

(Bamboos for: teejaybee)

This weird caterpillar definitely looks like an alien!

#14 Cecrops Eyed Silkmoth Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: raelb)

#15 Pale Tussock Fluffy Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: Darius Bauzys)

#16 Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Larva – “Battra Caterpillar”

(Bamboos for: max_thinks_sees)

Some say this weird caterpillar with its striking red and black color scheme is the inspiration for one of Godzilla’s enemies – Battra.

#17 Hickory Horned Devil

(Bamboos for: Mean and Pinchy)

#18 Unknown But Highly Poisonous Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: shugyou)

#19 Don’t Worry This Isn’t A Poisonous Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: bionicteaching)

#20 Fuzzy Bunny Moth Caterpillar

(Bamboos for: M Hedin)

This spiky green caterpillar will metamorph into a Fuzzy Bunny Moth! Thankfully it’s more fluffy than its larval stage.

#21 Poisonous Caterpillar Automeris Naranja

(Bamboos for: Morti Riuuallon)

#22 Unknown, Possibly An Alien Invader

(Bamboos for: Thrillseekr)

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