Caterpillars include the caterpillars of butterflies and moths.
The larvae of butterflies and moths are commonly known as caterpillars. They usually have three pairs of small, but noticeable, true legs at the front and up to 5 pairs of fleshy false legs at the back.
Caterpillars are commonly found feeding on leaves, but they are also found inside living stems and branches or on the roots of plants and dead wood.
Most caterpillars are hues of green or brown and are relatively hairless, although in many families caterpillars are very hairy and often brightly coloured. A few species are pests of carpets, woollens, organic fabrics and stored food products.
Caterpillars are an important source of food for birds and other invertebrates and many species help dead animals and plants decompose.
Number of UK species: about 2500
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