The Very Hungry Caterpillar Retold in Pictures

Caterpillar and cherry tomatoPhoto:
Caterpillar gutting a cherry tomato
Image: turtlemom4bacon

There are few who don’t know Eric Carle’s children’s classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, about the cheeky green caterpillar who eats through anything in its path – from an apple, pears, plums and strawberries, to oranges, cake, ice cream and even cheese. We’ve taken a look at what caterpillars really eat and have come back with some astonishing if not astonishingly cute results.

Caterpillar going for a whole cabbage:
Caterpillar and cabbagePhoto:
Image: net_efekt

As plant eaters or herbivores, caterpillars really could not digest cake, ice cream or cheese of course and some caterpillar species only feed on a very narrow selection of plants. However, most caterpillars are known to be voracious eaters of all things green and are therefore not always welcome in a garden.

The very hungry caterpillars we have followed confirm this; they eat through berries, flowers, plant pods, cabbage and even tomatoes. But see for yourself what the real-life very hungry caterpillar has been up to:

On the first day, the very hungry caterpillar ate a hole into a rosebud:
Image: Alan Turkus

On the second day, the very woolly caterpillar ate two red berries:
Image: Bert Dennison

On the third day, the very hungry caterpillar went into the lilacs:
Image: Dvortygirl

On the fourth day, the very spiky caterpillar chomped on a daisy:
Image: aussiegall

On the fifth day, the very silvery caterpillar ate a wildflower called Indian paintbrush:
Indian paintbrushPhoto:
Image: Anauxite

On the sixth day, the Monarch caterpillar ate a pretty pink flower bud:
Flower budPhoto:
Image: Linda Tanner

… a swan plant seed pod:
Swan plantPhoto:
Image: kiwinz

… some butterfly weed:
Butterfly weedPhoto:
Image: OakleyOriginals

… and the flower bud of a Mexican Milkweed plant:
Mexican MilkweedPhoto:
Image: Derek Ramsey

Last, it ate through a whole Milkweed leaf for digestion:
Milkweed leafPhoto:
Image: John Owens

On the seventh day, the now not so hungry caterpillar had a drop of water:
Image: suncana

Then it rested before building a cocoon around itself:
Image: Dean Morley

It stayed there for a few days and then…

…emerged as a beautiful Tortoiseshell butterfly:
Small Tortoiseshell butterflyPhoto:
Image: Dean Morley

Sources: 1, 2