Most caterpillars lead a terrestrial way of life, but the caterpillars of a number of species of the family are wide-winged fireflies that live underwater, while underwater fire of the Acentria ephemerella live under adult water and wingless females. Several species of Hawaiian moth caterpillars of the genus Hyposmocoma are amphibians and are able to live both under water and on land.
The time of daily activity of caterpillars depends on the type and stage of development. For example, caterpillars of the gypsy moth at the first ages are active mainly during the day, and at late ones – at night.
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. Some caterpillars have less than five pairs of pseudopods, for example, caterpillars of moths – “surveyors”. These caterpillars have only two pairs of false legs. 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.