Caterpillar


Caterpillar
/kat"euh pil'euhr, kat"euhr-/, Trademark.
a tractor intended for rough terrain, propelled by two endless belts or tracks that pass over a number of wheels.

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Caterpillars have a cylindrical body consisting of 13 segments, with three pairs of legs on the thorax and "prolegs" on the abdomen. The head has six eyes on each side, short antennae, and strong jaws. Though not true worms, many caterpillars are called worms (e.g., the inchworm, or looper, and the cutworm). Caterpillar-like larvae are also found in other insect groups (e.g., sawflies and scorpionflies).

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larva
 larva of a butterfly or moth (Lepidoptera). Caterpillars have cylindrical bodies consisting of 13 segments, with three pairs of true legs on the thorax and several pairs of short, fleshy prolegs on the abdomen. The head has six small eyes (stemmata) on each side, short antennae, and strong jaws. Many caterpillars within the Lepidoptera are called worms, such as the measuring worm, silkworm, and army worm.

      Caterpillar-like, or eruciform, larvae also occur in other insect groups, namely the scorpionflies (Mecoptera) and the sawflies (Hymenoptera). These can be distinguished in that most Lepidoptera caterpillars have prolegs on segments 3 through 6 and 10 of the abdomen, although this number may be reduced. In Mecoptera, prolegs are present on segments 1 to 8, and segment 10 has either a pair of hooks or a suction disk. Sawfly larvae have prolegs on all abdominal segments.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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