No, caterpillars do not fly. But scientists say caterpillars can fly through the air, which they typically call ballooning.
It’s an amazing phenomenon that is quite common in all kinds of caterpillars. All species of caterpillars have silk glands, and when they are ready to move on from one area, they use these glands to make silk threads. These threads are pulled together, so the caterpillar forms a parachute from its own body. Once it has made this parachute, it lets itself go and flies through the air until it finds a place to land. It will then be able to find food and carry on growing until it goes into its next stage of metamorphosis.
Do caterpillars have wings?
No, caterpillars do not have wings.
This is because they are still in the larval stage of insect metamorphosis. Larvae do not have wings (or any other adult insect features) and are primarily concerned with eating and growing as much as possible.
When a caterpillar is fully grown, it will form a pupa, or chrysalis, where it will undergo metamorphosis into an adult butterfly or moth. At this point, wings and all of the other adult features will develop as the insect ’emerges’ from the pupa.
Do gypsy moth caterpillars fly?
Gypsy moth caterpillars do not have wings. They literally can’t fly. They’re among the world’s most renowned tree pests and are responsible for a lot of deforestation in the United States and Canada.
Adult male gypsy moths do fly, but not for very long distances. They usually only fly about 100 yards from where they emerged and are active only at night. As soon as they find a female, they mate with her and then die almost immediately.
Thus, Caterpillars do not actually fly, but they do balloon. They use their silk glands to make silk threads and tie them into a balloon-like structure which they use to travel to a new location. This is quite common in caterpillars.