This caterpillar was crossing a roadway in my little retirement village. He was simply beautiful. I suppose I had always undervalued and underappreciated the caterpillar. This fellow was yellow and black and was moving at a slow steady pace. It seemed he had an objective to reach the other side.
I was fearful that he might be squashed by a passing automobile, so I stood around waiting for him to cross over. Several of my friends came by, stopped their cars to speak, asked if I was okay and then inquired about my purpose in directing the traffic this day. I told them I was protecting a caterpillar that was moving to the other side of the road.
One of them smiled and inquired, “As in relocating?”
“No,” I said, “He thinks the grass is greener.” The window went up and a broad smile appeared. Two bad jokes in a row.
This unusual dude had three pairs of legs and several leg-like appendages. He was also hairy in spots. He will be a butterfly soon.
Caterpillars are the larval stage members of the order Lepidoptera (the insect order comprising butterflies and moths).
As with most common names, the application of the word is arbitrary and the larvae of sawflies commonly are called caterpillars as well.
Caterpillars of most species are herbivorous, but not all; some (about 1%) like insects and may be cannibalistic. Some feed on other animal products; for example, clothes moths feed on wool, and hoof moths feed on the hooves and horns of dead cows, sheep and pigs.
Caterpillars as a rule are voracious feeders and many of them are among the most serious of agricultural pests. Many moths are best known in their caterpillar stages because of the damage they cause to fruits and other agricultural produce, whereas the moths are obscure and do no direct harm. Conversely, various species of caterpillar are valued as sources of silk, as human or animal food, or for biological control of pest plants.
Most likely, this was more than you wanted to know, but the caterpillar is one of God’s interesting and unusual creatures.