Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Caterpillar Types
Name: Leslie
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

My students are studying the lifecycle of the common caterpillars they find outside at this time of year. They have successfully captured and cared for some to the cocoon stage. Their question is: What is the difference between smooth caterpillars and fuzzy caterpillars?

There is no simple difference between hairy and smooth caterpillars, it all depends on individual species characters. Caterpillars can be very hard to identify to species, though some are easy. Here's two of many web sites that may help:

This site describes a very good book on North American caterpillars:

J. Elliott

There is a book that may help available to the younger set as well as adults:

"Peterson's Guide to the Catepaillars"

Steve Sample

Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory