How Long Do Caterpillars Live?


Quick Answer

The length of a caterpillar's life varies tremendously and depends upon its species, but most caterpillars stay in their larval stage for a few months before entering a cocoon. They then emerge from this pupae stage as moths or butterflies.

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How Long Do Caterpillars Live?
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Full Answer

The life spans of some caterpillars deviate significantly from the norm. The painted lady, for example, spends only about four weeks as a caterpillar, while the fox moth often stays in the caterpillar stage for up to five years before entering its cocoon. The arctic-dwelling woolly bear caterpillar holds the record for the longest larval stage and spends up to 14 years as a caterpillar. The woolly bear's longevity comes from its arctic habitat, which causes it to spend most of its life frozen in stasis.

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