Do caterpillars have teeth?
Caterpillars do not have teeth. They have an additional toothed mandible that facilitates chewing. This structure is a modification of the lower lip or labium. It usually lies beneath the head and is revealed when the caterpillar extends its mouthparts to feed.
Caterpillars also have strong muscles attached to their mandibles that help with chewing. Because the mouth is small, caterpillars will regurgitate partially digested food back into their mouths so they can chew it more.
How do caterpillars chew their food?
Caterpillars have not just mandibles but powerful toothed mandibles that they use to chew their food. They often start out with a hole in the leaf and then eat their way around the edges.
In order to properly chew its food, the caterpillar needs mandibles that have both upper and lower parts. The upper part is called the maxilla while the lower is called the labium. These two parts house the mandibles which are sharp and strong enough to cut through most plant matter.
Do caterpillars bite?
Yes, caterpillars do bite, but only if provoked. Caterpillars have tiny, microscopic mandibles which are used to chew their food. Caterpillars are herbivores and chew the leaves of plants.
So, the mandibles of a caterpillar are not teeth. The mandibles allow the insect to chew. It also has very strong muscles that help with chewing, regardless of the lack of true teeth. These insects will regurgitate partially digested food back into their mouths for further mastication.