There are thousands of caterpillar species you can encounter in Georgia. If you have recently seen a caterpillar and are trying to identify it, or are worried it could be poisonous, then continue reading.
We have not listed all the species here, but we have provided the most common caterpillars you can find in Georgia from the most common to the least common.
Caterpillars are the larval stage of moths and butterflies. They are voracious eaters with some being agricultural pests, causing damage to fruits and other produce. Other caterpillars are valued for their use as animal food or silk.
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Are Georgia Caterpillars Poisonous
While there have been no fatalities resulting from an encounter with a caterpillar, there are three that you need to be aware of in Georgia. The first is the American Dagger moth caterpillar, which was spotted in Georgia a few years ago. This caterpillar can cause an itchy reaction should you touch the hairs on its body.
The hairs of the American Dagger caterpillar are connected to poisonous sacs that can inject toxins. The toxins will cause itching, burning, and stinging, turning into a rash.
Another caterpillar to watch out for is the Saddleback caterpillar, which is a long-haired caterpillar. If you come into contact with the hollow and poisonous hairs of this caterpillar, you will experience burning and inflammation, which is similar to a bee sting. This irritation can last a few days with nausea.
Finally, there is the puss caterpillar, which has venomous spines causing a painful reaction. If you touch the caterpillar, the spines break off, releasing a toxic fluid that causes burning and stinging. You may also experience swelling and numbness, sometimes extending down your entire arm or leg. Your lymph nodes can swell, accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Caterpillars in Georgia
The most common caterpillars in Georgia, include:
1. Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar
The Gulf Fritillary (Dione vanillae) is a passion butterfly, a bright orange butterfly with long, narrow wings. The caterpillars are dark orange with black spines, which protrude away from the body. The caterpillar stage includes five instars with varying time frames.
Once the caterpillar hatches from the egg, they eat the egg casing as food. They will then move on to parts of the host plant. During the first three instar stages, the caterpillar consumes the leaves and leaf margins on the host plant. The caterpillar stage can vary between eleven and sixteen days, which is determined by the climate and temperature.
2. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar
The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) is a beautiful butterfly that is common in Georgia. It is one of the most familiar butterflies you will encounter. The male is yellow with four tiger stripes on the forewings, while the females’ are black or yellow.
As caterpillars, they feed on the host plant leaves, resting on a silk pad, which is on the leaf. In the first three stages, the caterpillar remains a solid brown with a white saddle spot on the abdomen. Once they molt in the fourth stage, they change to green with a swollen thorax and two black, blue, and yellow eye spots.
The abdomen has light blue spots. The caterpillar turns dark brown in the final stage before pupating, growing to just over five centimeters in length.
3. Monarch Caterpillar
The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly and a very familiar butterfly in Georgia. They have orange, white, and black wings. The caterpillars go through five stages, molting after each stage. Each stage lasts around five days, depending on the availability of food and the temperature.
When the caterpillar first hatches from the egg, it is a gray-white to light green. They are very shiny with black heads. There are no testicles or banding. The young caterpillar eats the egg case and then feeds on the milkweed. They develop to have dark stripes on the green background with small bumps, which will form the front tentacles.
The second stage of the caterpillar sees a change in the pattern of white, black, and yellow bands. At this point, the caterpillar has a yellow triangle on its head with two yellow bands around the triangle. The black tentacles are starting to grow.
In the third stage, the bands become distinct and the tentacles grow longer. At this point, the caterpillar will have grown to around 1.5cm in length. During the fourth stage, the caterpillar has white spots near the back and grows to around 2.5cm in length. The fifth and final stage has a complex pattern with white spots.
During the fifth stage, the caterpillar chews in the petiole of the leaf, causing the leaf to drop into a vertical position. At this point, the caterpillar has grown to 4.5cm in length. They stop feeding and move away from the milkweed to pupate.
4. Common Buckeye Caterpillar
The Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) is a butterfly, which lives in open habitats with low vegetation. The caterpillar prefers plants that produce a bitter compound, known as iridoid glycosides. This helps their digestive system. The iridoid glycosides also have a growth-stimulating effect.
The common buckeye caterpillar has a complex pattern with a black back with light-colored white, gray, brown, or gray markings. They vary from one caterpillar to the next. The side is white with orange-red spots. The underside is brown.
The caterpillar’s head is orange-brown with black on the face. The spines run down the sides and back, with small spines on the head. The spines and color patterns are not as pronounced when the caterpillar first hatches. In the final stage, the caterpillar can grow to 4cm in body length.
5. North American Luna Moth Caterpillar
The North American Luna Moth (Actias luna) is a giant silk moth with green wings and a white body. The caterpillars are green. As adults, they can grow to 114mm in wing span. Once the caterpillars pupate, they become one of the largest moths in Georgia.
As caterpillars, they give off a clicking sound, warning predators. They can regurgitate the contents from their intestines, using that as a deterrent to predators. The caterpillars go through five stages, each taking up to ten days to complete.
Once a stage is completed, the caterpillar places silk on the leaf vein, after which the caterpillar molts. When the caterpillar first molts, it eats the host plant leaves, which include walnut, sweetgum, paper birch, and hickory. They are green and during the first two stages, they have black on the dorsal side.
In the final stage, the caterpillar can grow to 9cm in length. The caterpillar will complete all five stages in the same tree where it hatched. They descend to the ground when they make a cocoon. Even though this species have spines, the spines are not poisonous and do not have any chemical compounds.
6. Red-spotted Admiral Caterpillar
The Red-spotted Admiral (Limenitis arthemis) is a North American butterfly. As caterpillars, they feed on tree species, which include willow, poplar, and aspen. Some feed on black cheery, while others feed on yellow birch.
The caterpillar looks similar to a bird dropping throughout the stages of development. They are green with cream patches or brown. There are two horns on the thorax. The caterpillar also has rounded spike projections just behind the head.
7. Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillar
The Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) is a butterfly, commonly seen in Georgia. You will see it in gardens, forest edges, and fields. The caterpillar feeds on leaves from vines, trees, shrubs, and herbs in the pea family.
The caterpillars live in swamps and meadows and can grow to 5cm in length. The average lifespan is around two months with wasps, birds, spiders, frogs, and birds being their main predators.
8. Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar
The Banded Tussock Moth (Halysidota tessellaris), also known as the pale tiger moth, was first identified in 1797. As caterpillars, they have long tufts that cover their body. The caterpillar can vary from orange and yellow to dark gray.
The long hairs are black, white, or orange. They have bright orange heads. You will see the caterpillar resting on a leaf. They grow to 3.5cm in length and pupate over the winter in gray cocoons, which have larval hairs.
9. Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar
The Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) is a butterfly with angled wings. Newly hatched caterpillars are yellow to green and have stripes on the sides. There are black dots, which form rows on the caterpillar’s back. They feed on partridge peas, sennas, and legumes.
The caterpillar can grow to 4.5cm in length. As the caterpillar ages, it forms points at the front and back with a humped appearance in the center. They turn green or yellow and have green or pink stripes.
10. Eastern Tent Caterpillar
The Eastern Tent caterpillar (Malacosoma Americana) is a moth larva. The moth produces one generation each year. The caterpillars live in communal nests in the branches of trees. These are hairy caterpillars with black, orange, white, and blue areas on the body.
The moth lays eggs in batches of up to three hundred eggs. The fully-grown caterpillars are found within the eggs. Newly hatched caterpillars construct a silk tent after emerging, where they stay throughout their caterpillar stage. As they grow, they construct the tent daily to accommodate their growth.
Caterpillars feed in the morning and evening, leaving the tent to feed and returning immediately to rest. The caterpillar goes through six stages of growth with the last stage dispersing the caterpillars to construct their cocoon.
The caterpillar thrashes the anterior of its body when predators are detected, which results in groups of caterpillars carrying out the same action. This creates a moving target, helping them deter predators, such as stink bugs.
11. Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar
This moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is a North American moth, common in Georgia. It is a giant silk moth that is tan colored, growing to 15cm in wing span. As caterpillars, they eat eighty times their weight with their growth stages taking less than two months to complete.
The adult moth lays light brown eggs on the leaves of trees. A yellow caterpillar emerges from the hatched egg. They molt five times, turning bright green with silver spots on the last molt. They are gregarious eaters and feed on the host plant, growing to four inches in length. After the fifth stage, they spin a cocoon of brown silk, that is wrapped in the leaves of the host plant.
12. Imperial Moth Caterpillar
The Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) was first identified in 1773, As caterpillars, they spin a small amount of silk on the leaf vein on the host plant. The caterpillar latches onto the silk to help it molt.
As the caterpillar molts, it comes out of the old exoskeleton, puffing up and hardening as it enters the next growth stage. They eat the old exoskeleton for nutrients.
The first growth stage is short. The caterpillar is orange with black banding. In the second stage, the caterpillar is darker with fine hairs that are starting to grow on the body. In the third stage, the caterpillar has a darker head.
When they molt to the fourth stage, the hairs grow longer and the color variation starts to appear. The caterpillar is fully grown in the fifth stage, they are around 10cm in length. The colors can vary from one caterpillar to the next, usually green, burgundy, or brown. Caterpillars that are dark brown, have orange patches.
13. Pearl Crescent Caterpillar
This beautiful butterfly (Phyciodes tharos) is found throughout Georgia in open areas, including road edges, fields, open pine woods, and pastures. The male has an orange upper side with black borders.
The female butterfly lays her eggs in batches under the leaf of a host plant. The caterpillars will feed on these leaves. The caterpillars have purple hairs with large black eyes. The eyes have yellow hairs surrounding them.
This is a member of the silkworm moth and the caterpillars construct hard, brown cocoons when they pupate. They emerge as one of the largest moths in Georgia.
14. White-marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar
This moth (Orgyia leucostigma) belongs to the Erebidae family and was first encountered in 1797. The caterpillar is common in Georgia during the late summer. The caterpillar is bright with tufts of hair covering its body.
The caterpillar has a bright red head and yellow or white stripes on its body. There is a black stripe found down the center. of the back. This caterpillar can cause an allergic reaction in humans if you touch the hairs on the body. The caterpillar can grow to 3.5cm in body length.
The caterpillar will spin a gray cocoon on the crevices of bark and it will take two weeks for the moth to emerge.
15. American Lady Caterpillar
The American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) is a butterfly found in Georgia. The caterpillars feed on Asteraceae, which include cudweeds, pussytoes, and everlastings. As caterpillars, they vary in color from green-yellow with black rings to black with cream rings. They have branched spines that are dark with red bases.
Each caterpillar has white spots on all segments. The cocoon varies from gold and brown to gray.
16. Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar
The Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) is a green-clouded butterfly with hosts on the spicebush, where it gets its name. This is one of the largest butterflies in the world and flutters its wings when feeding. They fly low to the ground.
The female butterfly lays green-white eggs, which are large. She will lay up to two eggs on the spicebush leaf. The younger caterpillars chew the leaf from the edge to the middle. The caterpillar spins silk, which dries and forms a shelter.
Young caterpillars are brown and are seen on the leaf. They hide in their shelter during the day to help protect them from predators. They feed at night. If disturbed, the caterpillar rolls into the leaf and emits a foul odor.
As the caterpillar ages, it turns green-yellow, just before it pupates. The older caterpillars live in a rolled-up leaf that is lined with silk. They leave the shelter to pupate, creating a cocoon under the leaf.
17. Yellow-striped Oakworm
This moth (Anisota peigleri) belongs to the Saturniidae family and was first identified in 1975. As moths, they grow to 6.9cm in wing span and fly during the day.
The caterpillar feeds on various oak trees. They feed in groups throughout the caterpillar stage. Fully grown caterpillars pupate, spending their winter in underground chambers.
A fully grown caterpillar can grow to 5cm in length. They are black with yellow striping and black horns. There is a row of spines that are located just behind the horns.
18. Zebra Longwing Caterpillar
The Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charithonia) is a butterfly that is striped in black and white on the wings. As butterflies they come out in groups at night, protecting themselves from predators.
The white and black caterpillars have black spines on their body. They feed on passion flowers and lay silk mats, which cover them to protect them from predators.
19. Giant Woolly Bear
This (Hypercompe scribonia) is a giant leopard moth belonging to the Erebidae family. As caterpillars, they have a thick coat of bristles with red to orange banding between each segment.
The coat of bristles is not venomous and will not irritate humans. They spend their winter in caterpillar form, under decaying bark. The caterpillars grow to 7.6cm in body length.
20. Fall Webworm
This (Hyphantria cunea) is a moth that is known for its caterpillar stage. They create webbed nests in tree limbs of hardwood trees. They are considered pests that harm healthy trees.
The caterpillars vary in color and can range from dark gray to yellow with yellow spots and short and long bristles on the body. The caterpillar has two cream stripes that run down the sides. The caterpillars are small growing to 3.5cm in body length.
Young caterpillars will feed on the upper surface of leaves and eventually consume the entire leaf. The growth involves four stages, which last up to six weeks. The caterpillars wiggle at intervals and why they do this is still to be established.
They create cocoons of dark brown and around 10cm in length. This is where they spend their winter, hidden in the leaf litter or the bark at the base of a tree.
21. Sleepy Orange Caterpillar
The Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) is a butterfly with green to yellow eggs. The eggs turn red right before the caterpillar hatches. The eggs are located under the leaves of host plants, though they are sometimes placed on flowers. The caterpillars are gray-green with a yellow-white side stripe and have fuzzy hair.
22. Black Swallowtail Caterpillar
The Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) is a butterfly, commonly encountered in Georgia. As caterpillars, they absorb the toxins of the host plant, making them taste foul to bird predators. The caterpillar has an orange osmeterium, which is a forked gland.
When the caterpillar is in danger, the osmeterium releases a foul smell, which repels any predators. The cocoon of this caterpillar is brown or green, based on the surroundings. Parts of the green cocoon turn darker just before the butterfly hatches.
23. Tulip-tree Beauty Caterpillar
The Tulip-tree Beauty (Epimecis hortaria) is a moth, first described in 1794. it is often seen from late March to early October. The adult moth is nocturnal and is attracted to artificial lights. The caterpillars feed on tulip trees, yellow poplar, sassafras trees, and paw-paw.
The tulip-tree beauty caterpillar is brown with a white underside. There are dark spots and lines on the back. Each segment has a thin yellow ring, which is not always visible. The head varies in color from brown with specks to bright yellow.
24. American Dagger Caterpillar
The American Dagger Moth (Acronicta americana) belongs to the Noctuidae family. The young caterpillars are covered in yellow hairs. Older caterpillars have white or yellow hairs.
During all stages of the caterpillar’s growth, they have one tuft of black hair. All segments have black hairs. This caterpillar can grow to 5cm in body length and is completely covered in yellow or green bristles.
The caterpillar’s hairs can break off and get embedded in your skin if you come into contact with them. The hairs store toxins that have a painful sting. Inquisitive children are likely to get the bristles in their skin, picking up these bright caterpillars. The itching can turn into a rash.
The caterpillars feed on the leaves of trees, which include elm, willow, maple, ash, and oak. They are often encountered on the ground close to the trees.
25. Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar
This North American butterfly (Asterocampa celtis) lays eggs on the hackberry tree, which is a food source for the caterpillars. It is a fast butterfly, encountered close to lowlands and water sources.
The caterpillars feed on the leaf buds and leaves of the hackberry tree. They climb up the host tree to eat after hibernating during the winter months. The caterpillars can defoliate an entire tree when feeding, as they tend to eat so much.
The female butterfly lays pale eggs in clusters of up to twenty eggs on the host plant. The white eggs have a green to a yellow hue. The caterpillar is around a quarter inch in length and has black to brown dorsal horns. The body is green with white-yellow bumps.
The half-grown caterpillar will hibernate during winter in the hackberry leaves that have fallen to the forest floor. They emerge in the spring and climb back up the tree to feed. The cocoons are dark green with white spots and are found under the leaves of the hackberry leaves where the adults emerge in the early summer.
26. Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar
This wallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor) is a black butterfly with iridescent blue wings. They are commonly encountered in forest areas. As caterpillars, they are red or black and can be seen feeding on plants. They absorb the acids of the plants to defend themselves against predators.
The female butterfly lays orange to red-colored eggs on the pipevine swallowtail plant. The eggs are small and laid on the stem of the plant. The eggs are laid in clusters with access to sunlight. It takes a few short weeks for the caterpillar to emerge. The caterpillar feeds on the remains of the eggs for nutrients.
The caterpillars are approximately 5cm in length and vary in color. These caterpillars range from black to dark brown, some have red coloration. The caterpillars all have orange spots. The fully grown caterpillars are glossy in appearance with fine hairs covering the body.
The caterpillars feed on the host plant leaves the majority of the time. Once they have removed the edible matter from one plant, they will move to a new plant. They feed in groups, but once the food sources are depleted, they become solitary, searching for new host plants.
The caterpillar creates a cocoon high off the ground on the trunk of trees. You will not find the cocoons on green surfaces.
27. Ailanthus Webworm
This (Atteva aurea) is a small and colorful moth, that looks like a beetle or true bug when not flying. When they do fly they look similar to a wasp. The caterpillars create nests on the host plants by pulling leaflets around loose webbing.
The caterpillars feed on the leaflets and bark of the host plant. These caterpillars have green-brown stripes down their back with white and olive-green stripes on the sides. They range in color from dark black to light brown.
Caterpillars can be seen from the middle of spring and there can be numerous generations over the summer months. One communal web can be hosted for several generations.
28. Carolina Sphinx Caterpillar
This moth (Manduca sexta) belongs to the Sphingidae family and is often encountered in Georgia. They are also known as the tobacco hawk moth or a tobacco hornworm or Goliath hornworm as caterpillars.
As caterpillars, they are bright green and can be around 7cm in length. In the final molting stage, they have a cylindrical body covered in fine hairs. The head has chewing mouthparts.
The caterpillars feed on pants from the Solanaceae family, which include tomatoes and tobacco. There are five growth stages. At the end of the growth stage, the caterpillar looks for a safe location to pupate. They burrow underground to accomplish this.
As biological control of this caterpillar, parasitic braconid wasps lay eggs in the body of the caterpillar. The wasp larvae feed on the internal organs of the caterpillar. Hornworms that have been exposed to the wasp parasites are covered in white wasp cocoons, which look like large eggs.
29. Gray Hairstreak Caterpillar
This butterfly (Strymon melinus) is known as a gossamer-winged butterfly. It is the second-largest butterfly you will encounter in Georgia. As caterpillars, they are green with yellow hairs that cover the body.
The caterpillars feed on a variety of plants, though they prefer mallows and legumes. They are often seen on clovers. Younger caterpillars are seen eating flowers, while the older caterpillars prefer the leaves.
30. Banded Woolly Bear
The Banded Woolly Bear (Pyrrharctia isabella) or Isabella tiger moth was formerly named in 1797. The caterpillar is known as the banded woolly bear or woolly worm. The caterpillar is made up of thirteen segments and is covered n brown hair with black hair on the posterior and anterior regions.
When the caterpillar is exposed to sunlight, the hairs look red. The caterpillar emerges from the egg in the fall and spends its winter in caterpillar form. It can survive being frozen and thawing in the spring.
This caterpillar is not dangerous and will not inject venom. They do not irritate, though handling them is discouraged, as they do have spiny hairs.
31. Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar
This butterfly (Euptoieta claudia) has two to three broods each year. This low-flying butterfly lays pale-green to cream eggs singly on the host plant stems and leaves. The caterpillars feed on the leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant. The caterpillars are red with black stripes and white spots.
The red stripe on the caterpillar has a black oval-shaped spot, which is one per segment. There are also six rows of black spines on the body and long spines on the head.
32. Snowberry Clearwing Caterpillar
The Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis) belongs to the Sphingidae family, often referred to as the flying lobster or hummingbird moth. The caterpillars are green with black spots. They have a longhorn that is yellow at the base.
The caterpillar has a spiky horn near the rear. As caterpillars, they make their cocoons in the leaf litter on the ground. They pupate during the winter months and emerge in spring.
33. Palamedes Swallowtail Caterpillar
This North American butterfly (Papilio palamedes) belongs to the Papilionidae family. The male butterfly searches for a female in forest openings and edges. The female lays her green-yellow eggs on the host plant.
The caterpillars are green with two false eyespots, which are located on the thorax. There are often blue spots on the first to eighth segments. The caterpillar lives in a leaf shelter.
The caterpillar creates a green cocoon with a white stripe and brown above, which is where it hibernates, emerging as an adult. These butterflies can have up to three broods each year.
34. Viceroy Caterpillar
This beautiful butterfly caterpillar (Limenitis archippus) is distasteful to predators. The caterpillar feeds on the leaves of poplar and willow trees. The caterpillars are olive-brown and white.
When they first hatch, they feed on their eggshells for nutrition. At night they feed on leaves. The younger caterpillars made a ball out of leaves, dung, and silk. The ball hangs off the leaf they are feeding on, protecting them from predators.
In the third stage, the caterpillar makes a shelter out of a rolled leaf tip, which is where it hibernates for winter.
35. Rosy Maple Moth Caterpillar
The Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda) is a small moth, that belongs to the Saturniidae family. They are also known as great silk moths. They prefer to host on maple trees. The female lays yellow eggs in groups of up to forty on the underside of maple leaves.
The caterpillars are also known as green-striped maple worms, feeding mostly on the leaves of the maple tree. They prefer red maple, sugar maple, and silver maple. The caterpillars eat the entire leave, which means in large populations they can completely defoliate trees.
The caterpillar goes through five growth stages, during these stages its eating behaviors and coloration will change. In the early growth stages, the caterpillars have large black heads with yellow to green bodies. There are light green stripes present.
The young caterpillars will molt for the first time within ten days. At this point, their heads become smaller and the stripes on their body become red. In the next growth stage, their heads turn yellow, and eventually, in the final stage, they have a red head.
By the time they are in the final growth stage, the caterpillar is yellow-green with white, green, or black stripes. There are two prominent horns on the second segment of the thorax with short spines along either side of the body.
The mature caterpillar can grow to two inches. After a month of being a fully-grown caterpillar, they will make their way to the base of the host tree and pupate in underground chambers.
36. Forest Tent Caterpillar
This moth (Malacosoma disstria) is common in Georgia and is known for the caterpillars that weave silken sheets, where they lie together when they molt. The caterpillars lay strands of silk as they move, traveling in groups.
The caterpillars are social and group together during their growth stages, until the fifth growth stage, then they start feeding and resting on their own. The female moth can lay up to three hundred eggs, which stick to twigs and are covered with cement.
Eggs hatch during the spring. The caterpillars are found feeding on shrubs and deciduous trees. The caterpillars pupate when they reach a specific size, which is done through group feeding, which helps them reach this threshold quickly. As a result, the risk of predators and food depletion is reduced.
37. Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar
The Tersa Sphinx caterpillar (Xylophanes tersa) mimics snakes with realistic light-ringed eyespots on the first abdominal segment. The caterpillars vary in appearance, some are pale green, while others are dark with vivid eyespots.
The caterpillars all have a horn at the rear. The adult moth has gray-brown forewings with a pale line. As caterpillars, they feed on broadleaf buttonweed, catalpa, smooth button plant, candy corn vine, and fire bush.
38. Red Admiral Caterpillar
This medium-sized butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) has black wings with white spots and red wings. The caterpillars grow to 2.5cm in length with varied coloration. Most are black with white spots and spines.
When they are located in warmer temperates, the pupal period is varied. In warmer temperatures, the pupal period can be six days, whereas, in colder climates, it can be anywhere up to eighty-two days.
The pupae are scarlet in high temperatures and black in low temperatures. The caterpillars feed on stinging nettle and false nettles.
39. Tulip-tree Silkmoth Caterpillar
This moth (Callosamia angulifera) is known as the tulip-tree silk moth or giant silk moth, belonging to the Saturniidae family. As adults, they grow to 1cm in wing span, having one generation per year.
As caterpillars, they feed on the leaves of tulip trees, black cherries, and sassafras. The caterpillars are chubby and green with four red spurs on the head and a yellow spur on the rear. A pale yellow line runs on both sides of the body.
40. Small White Caterpillar
The Small White Caterpillar (Pieris rapae) grows into a medium-sized butterfly. As a butterfly, you can identify it with its white coloration, black spots on the wings, and small size.
As caterpillars, they are known as the imported cabbage worm. It is a pest to crucifer crops, including bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, and kale. The adult butterfly lays eggs on cabbage plants in cultivated and wild areas.
The eggs are yellow with twelve ridges. The caterpillar is blue-green with black pints and a black ring around the spiracles. There are yellow dashes and a yellow line. The caterpillar rests under the leaves of the host plant.
During the first and second growth stages, the caterpillar has a black head, during the third growth stage the head becomes yellow, and by the fourth stage, there is a green-yellow dot behind each eye.