Cannibalistic Caterpillars: Why Caterpillars Eat Each Other

Two caterpillars on a leaf

While cannibalism is rare among the human species, it is fairly common in the animal and insect kingdom. Until fairly recently accounts such as female praying mantis eating their mates was considered to be a one off, but newer scientific research shows evidence of caterpillar cannibalism. Why do caterpillars eat each other? Likely it’s the same reason most human cannibalism has occurred: survival. In a roundabout way, cannibalistic caterpillars exist because of the survival instinct… but it isn’t because they lack food. Keep reading to learn about the fascinating life of a cannibal caterpillar. Do Caterpillars Eat Other Caterpillars? Yes, it’s true. Caterpillars have indeed been observed feeding on each other But the question is… why? This behavior has been observed even when there is plenty of food around for the otherwise vegetarian caterpillars to feed on. Why Do Caterpillars Eat Each Other? So what on earth could be going […]

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