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Types of green caterpillars

Updated November 22, 2016

Green caterpillars grow into a variety of moths, as well as butterflies. Different types of caterpillars can be found in different areas of the United States and also parts of Canada. Caterpillars chew through leaves, so if you don't want your trees or flowers to be full of holes, you must remove fallen leaves and debris that attract these insects.

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Saddleback

Saddleback caterpillars live mainly on the East Coast of the U.S., although they are also found in Missouri and Texas. These caterpillars live inside many fruits, especially apples and blueberries; they are also found in trees such as oaks and maples. Saddleback caterpillars have sharp bristles, which they can sting with if threatened. In the summer months, they metamorphose into moths with glossy brown wings.

Waved Sphinx

Waved sphinx moth caterpillars live inside ash, fringe, hawthorn and oak trees. They live mainly in the northern U.S. and parts of Canada, although they can be found in the southern U.S. during the spring months. Upon reaching maturity, they become moths with pale wings distinguished by wavy black and white lines. These caterpillars go underground to reproduce.

Hickory Horned Devils

Hickory Horned Devils, so named for the brightly coloured red and black "horns" on their heads, grow into silk moths called royal walnut moths. These caterpillars hatch on top of leaves and are often found in nut trees such as pecans, butternuts and hickories. They are common to the eastern half of the U.S., going west from New York to Michigan, down the East Coast and through the Gulf States. Females are slightly larger than males. Adults come out at dusk during the spring and summer to mate and the female lays eggs within three days of mating. Eggs take six to 10 days to hatch.

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Virginia creeper sphinx caterpillars eat their way out of their eggs five to six days after the adult sphinx moth lays them. These caterpillars live in Virginia creeper plants and grape leaves and are most often found in woodlands or brushy areas. They spin cocoons in leaves on the ground when they are ready to metamorphose and emerge as moths with a dark brown or olive upperside and pale orange hindwings. The adult moths drink flower nectar. These caterpillars are found in most of the U.S., although they are more common on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

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About the Author

Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.

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