Caterpillars are the early life stage of butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera). They're small, strong larvae that react to their environments to avoid predators and eat the plants they cling to. 

It may be tempting to think of caterpillars as all the same, but they are an incredibly diverse group of animals. 

A simple body plan and soft, vulnerable features are shared by nearly all caterpillars. However, each species has evolved distinct and interesting ways of addressing the challenges common to them all.