How Do Caterpillars Become Butterflies & Moths? | A Journey Of Transformation

Before And After Photos Of Butterfly And Moth Transformations.

It is incredible to see a caterpillar turn into a butterfly! This change is called metamorphosis, and it means the insect’s body completely changes how it looks and is built. But what is even more incredible is how it happens. Inside their cocoons, caterpillars turn into a liquid, but they keep some parts that will become things like wings and eyes. And even though they are reduced to a protein soup, some butterflies can remember things they learned when they were caterpillars.

Many caterpillars are just as impressive, or even more so, than the butterflies or moths they become. They are not just plain green; some are really beautiful. Their bright colors and shapes help keep them safe by warning predators that they are poisonous or tricking them into attacking the wrong part. Some hairy caterpillars can even cause an allergic reaction; it also helps them stay safe.

Keep scrolling to see some fantastic moth caterpillars.

Brahmin Moth

Image credits: Igor Siwanowicz

Nature is full of surprises, like this little Brahmin Moth caterpillar with its black and orange stripes and long spines. It is just hanging out on a branch.

Image credits: Igor Siwanowicz

Igor Siwanoicz captured the stunning details of a Brahmin Moth. Here, it  is hanging upside down from a dried leaf with its black and white striped wings and orange and yellow spots.


Image credits: Lida

This Cecropia caterpillar’s journey begins on a bed of green grass. Do you see the yellow and blue spots on it? It is carrying some ladybugs along for the ride.

Image credits: Chip Miller

Look how incredible the transformation journey from a tiny caterpillar to a beautiful Cecropia moth with brown and orange wings and distinctive eye-like patterns is.

Spicebush Swallowtail

Image credits: luckybon

Look at this little strong Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar with its orange color, black spots, and blue stripe. The caterpillar is crawling along on a branch.

Image credits: shill718

The tiny caterpillar transformed into a gorgeous butterfly with black and white wings.

Black Swallowtail

Image credits: Jim Gilbert

Meet our little friend, the Black Swallowtail caterpillar. It is just hanging out on a green stem. Do you see its awesome black and yellow stripes with white spots?

Image credits: Tetsuya Shimizu

This is how the gorgeous Black Swallowtail butterfly looks with metallic green wings, black borders, and blue spots.

Polyura Sempronius

Image credits: teejaybee

We have a Polyura Sempronius caterpillar crawling along a brown twig here. Don’t you love its yellow stripe and blue spikes?

Image credits: David Cook

Nature presents us with this Polyura Sempronius butterfly. It is resting on a green leaf with its black and yellow striped body and white and orange wing markings.

Acraga Coa

Image credits: Our Breathing Planet

Check out this little guy! This Acraga Coa caterpillar is just hanging out on a green leaf with its white color, red spots, and small spikes.

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Delicate but strong, this Acraga Coa moth rests on wood with its furry orange body and wings.

Acharia Stimulea

Image credits: butterfly blue

Look around, and you will be surprised by what you see, like this Acharia Stimulea caterpillar with its green and brown body and white and brown spines. It’s just chilling on wood.

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The transformation from caterpillar to moth is complete for this Acharia Stimulea, with its brown body and wings, white border, and dark brown pattern.

Phobetron Pithecium

Image credits: Airton Morassi

A Phobetron Pithecium caterpillar crawls along a green leaf. See how it displays its brown body with multiple legs and spikes.

Image credits: Lou Prosperi 3rd

This Phobetron Pithecium moth flaunts its intricate brown and black patterned wings and body.

Glasswinged Butterfly

Image credits: Wendy

This caterpillar rests on a bright green leaf. Look at its beautiful white body with orange and black spots.

Image credits: Alexander Adema

Two Glass Winged Butterflies rest on a red and orange flower. They are showing off their black and white wings with orange stripes.

Cerura Vinula

Image credits: Lukas Jonaitis

A Cerura Vinula caterpillar rests on a brown branch. It is displaying its green body with black spots and a redhead with two black antennae.

Image credits: Valerio Formichella

A beautiful Cerura Vinula moth relaxes on a green leaf with its white wings, black spots, and furry body.

Flannel Moth

Image credits: Andreas Kay

The journey from caterpillar to moth begins for this Flannel Moth. See its soft, pink, fluffy body resting on a bright green leaf.

Image credits: Patrick Coin

The transformation from caterpillar to moth is complete for this Flannel Moth. Its body has yellow and white color and black and white stripes.

Blue Morpho

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The camera captured a Blue Morpho caterpillar crawling on a bright green leaf. It is showing off its black and yellow body with red spikes and white hairs.

Image credits: Ricardo Jimenes

Blue Morpho butterfly takes flight. See how beautiful its blue wings with black spots are.

Isochaetes Beutenmuelleri

Image credits: Igor Siwanowicz

See how peaceful this Isochaetes Beutenmuelleri caterpillar rests on a brown leaf. It is showing off its green body with white hair and a spiky appearance.

Image credits: Roy Morris

This is a little Isochaetes Beutenmuelleri moth. It is just relaxing on a gray fabric with its furry brown body and wings with a pattern of dark and light brown patches.

Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth

Image credits: Charles & Clint

Meet the Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth caterpillar. This vibrant green creature has white spots and red spikes, making its way along a branch.

Image credits: Margarethe Brummermann

This photo captures the elegance and beauty of Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth as it rests on a tree trunk with its dark gray wings spread wide and revealing red patches.

Isa Textula

Image credits: Matthew Myers

You can easily recognize this caterpillar with its light green body and red stripe. It is got big dreams of one day becoming a beautiful butterfly. He is just hanging out on this twig, taking in the world around him.

Image credits: Ray Morris

Say hello to the Isa Textula moth. This little guy has come a long way from being a caterpillar. Now it is all grown up, with brown wings and a fuzzy body.

Pipevine Swallowtail

Image credits: cotinis

This little guy chills on a green leaf, showing off its black body, orange spots, and red horns.

Image credits: John Flannery

Meet the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly! This black beauty has come a long way from its caterpillar days. Now it is got wings with orange and blue spots, and it is just hanging out on this purple flower.

Spotted Apatelodes

Image credits: Bill Tanneberger

Check out this cool Spotted Apatelodes caterpillar. Don’t you want to see more of its white body, black spots, and black spikes?

Image credits: kestrel360

Now it is got wings with white spots and a dark brown pattern like a butterfly.

Io Moth

Image credits: Jason Penney

This little guy is just chilling on wood. It shows off its green body, red and white stripes, and spikes.

Image credits: Roger Wasley

Now it has all grown up, with a red and brown body, yellow and black markings on its wings, and distinctive eye spots.

Attacus Atlas

Image credits: John Horstman

The Attacus Atlas caterpillar got a white body, red spots, and a spiky appearance.

Image credits: Andrew Cooper

Meet the Attacus Atlas moth. This red and brown beauty has come far from its caterpillar days. Now it has wings with a yellow and black pattern, and it is so big that its wingspan is larger than this person's hand.