What do caterpillars eat besides leaves?
A caterpillar eating leaves, grass or flowers is a very common knowledge. Maybe, the very first caterpillar picture we see in our life is a caterpillar eating leaves. But what do caterpillars eat besides leaves? And do they? Leaves and grass are known to be the primary caterpillar foods, each caterpillar type feeding on specific plants also called host plants. However, there are caterpillar varieties that feed on tree bark or even other insects, although the species are not numerous. Below are a few examples.
Bark Eating Caterpillars
Indarbela quadrinotata is an example of a bark eating caterpillar. This caterpillar hosts on many trees, mostly fruit trees, citrus and guava being their favorites. This caterpillar is usually regraded as a pest that causes serious damage to fruit business. Indarbela quadrinotata makes holes in the bark and hides there, which gave it another name - “bark miner”. Indarbela quadrinotata may eat the stem down to death. They often hide near the stem fork under webbings.
Insect Eating Caterpillars
Insect Eating CaterpillarsThe first insect-eating caterpillar was found at Hawaiian Islands in 1972 by Dr. Steven Montgomery, today scientifically known as Eupithecia caterpillars. Hawaiian Islands are known for their unique, isolated fauna. Isolation causes mutations and allows the species develop in their own way, which gave birth to these creatures with such a non-caterpillar behavior. These caterpillars camouflage so that the prey is not aware of their presence nearby. When the unlucky insect touches the predator, the caterpillar curves backwards, catches the victim in a loop, still being attached with the other end to the tree, and haves its lunch.Besides being carnivorous, these caterpillars are known for cannibalism - they eat their own fellows.