Depending on the type of butterfly and the natural conditions, the caterpillar in the egg develops from several days to several months. Last if the eggs laid in the summer hibernate until the spring. Finally, the butterfly’s larva-a caterpillar-gnaws through the jaw-jaws the shell of the egg and exits outward. The newborn is so hungry that it often first of all eats the abandoned shell, and then proceeds to a vegetarian menu.
Caterpillars – butterfly larvae – released from eggs, have three pairs of real legs at the anterior end of the body. These legs correspond to the legs of adult insects. Most caterpillars also have five pairs of abdominal legs, called false pairs. They are located further behind the chest legs and firmly hold the caterpillar on the branch of the plant.
The body of many caterpillars is covered with spines, a wart of hairs sometimes collected in bundles. Soft hairs of caterpillars are often far from harmless. When exposed to the skin or mucous fragments of such hairs can cause a severe chemical burn. The mouthpiece of the caterpillar is gnawing, unlike the adult butterfly, which feeds on the proboscis, it is represented by highly developed mandibles capable of biting and chewing food. At the base of the worms there are very short antennae, with which the caterpillar evaluates the food.
Most of the caterpillars feed on leaves, but there are butterflies, the larvae of which feed on roots, fruits or wood. Most of the caterpillars from all parts of the plant choose leaves for eating, and sometimes they are bitten by them so specific for this species that it is possible to determine by the shape of the “snag” who dined here.
There are also those that prefer kidneys. In caterpillars feeding on leaves, the following reflex act is observed. When the population of caterpillars reaches a very high density, they are triggered by a defensive reflex – they begin to strike their heads on the sheet. Caterpillars spend more time on it, the closer they are to neighboring individuals. As a result, they eat worse and their development is delayed; The butterflies obtained from them are smaller and give smaller offspring.