When we think of eyes, we usually think of the compound eye of a fly or a butterfly. But did you know that caterpillars also have a number of eyes, called stemmata?
There are 12 different pairs of eyes (stemmata) on a caterpillar, and they are located in two clusters on each side of the head. They are not really eyes that process images, but they help the caterpillar detect light changes.
Caterpillars have six legs on their thorax. They can also have up to 10 false legs on their abdomen (hind region).
The caterpillar's body is made up of a long, segmented body with ten'spiracles' along the sides. These spiracles do not have mouths, but they allow the insect to breathe by allowing air to enter and exit through holes in the thorax or abdomen.
They also have a pair of short antennae, which are very useful for detecting sounds and movement in the environment. The antennae are also used to find food and for steering the larva.
Their skin is soft and not very strong, so they molt (shed) it several times during their life cycle. The new skin is shaped and formed to fit their growing bodies.
The caterpillar's body also has a set of tactile hairs, which are located throughout their body and are connected to nerve cells that relay information about touch.
The caterpillar's body also has ten to fourteen imaginal discs within it, which will develop into adult parts of the insect. These imaginal discs will contain different clusters of cells that will become the different organs that make up an adult butterfly or moth. One cluster of these imaginal discs will eventually become the adult's compound eyes.