Fun Saddleback Caterpillar Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Feb 10, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Natalie Rayworth
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla
Interesting facts about the Saddleback Caterpillar.

Saddleback caterpillars (Acharia stimulea) are a species which are believed to belong to eastern North America as well as in Mexico. They are members of the slug caterpillar moth family.

The color of the saddleback caterpillar varies accordingly, but they usually are in green in color with a brown color on any one of the ends. They prominently feature a dot that is white-ringed and brown in color.

This dot is in the center which makes it look like a saddle. Their spines can sting humans upon touching, and the venom might cause some pain and swelling.

Saddleback caterpillars have horns that are fleshy at the other end, and the other part of the body bears urticating hairs which are known to secrete an irritating venom. The saddleback caterpillar poison is very dangerous.

They feed on a variety of plants that are included in their diet. They are more commonly known to be living in warmer climates and belong to the category of slug caterpillars. They can also survive in slightly cooler temperatures.

There are different host plants of saddleback caterpillars. If the saddleback caterpillar poisonous venom harms you, then you must immediately visit the doctor.

After reading about green saddleback caterpillar, you may also look at purple emperor butterfly facts and monarch butterfly facts.

Saddleback Caterpillar Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a saddleback caterpillar?

Saddleback caterpillar (Acharia stimulea) is a type of caterpillar that is primarily green in color on either side and brown on the other end. They have dots that are white-ringed that are known to resemble the saddle of the caterpillar.

What class of animal does a saddleback caterpillar belong to?

Saddleback caterpillar moth belongs to the class of Insecta. They survive well in the northern temperate areas and the southern climates that are warmer. They have many different plants as their hosts where they can be seen. They include various food items in their diet as well which helps them in keeping themselves healthy and fit.

How many saddleback caterpillars are there in the world?

There is no accurate data as to how many saddleback caterpillar moths are there in the world as the number keeps changing based on different factors which determine the life of a saddleback caterpillar moth, therefore the number of saddleback caterpillars keeps changing accordingly.

Where does a saddleback caterpillar live?

The saddleback caterpillar moths are native to eastern North America and also Mexico. Saddleback caterpillars live on shade trees and ornamental shrubs where they get sufficient food and nutrition that is required by their body.

What is a saddleback caterpillar's habitat?

Saddleback caterpillar habitat consists mainly of shade trees and ornamental shrubs. These stinging caterpillars are found on different plants, which they feed on for their food that is essential to their body.

Who do saddleback caterpillars live with?

Saddleback caterpillars live alone instead of staying in groups or pairs. These stinging caterpillars only come together when it is time to mate and give birth to little ones. This insect species are known as solitary creatures who love to live their life on their own instead of staying together with the other saddleback caterpillars.

How long does a saddleback caterpillar live?

There is no accurate lifespan of a saddleback moth caterpillar. However, a saddleback caterpillar life cycle is very interesting. An adult lays saddleback caterpillar eggs on the leaf of a plant.

After that, the eggs hatch to form larva. The larvae builds a cocoon around itself and grows there. In some months, they break the saddleback caterpillar cocoon and become adults.

How do they reproduce?

The female saddleback caterpillars lay their eggs three days after the mating is done. They lay these on the underside of the host plants leaves, one cluster of eggs can be between 30 and 50, leaving a total of 300 eggs.

The eggs of saddleback caterpillars are flat in shape and the color of the eggs is translucent lime green.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of saddleback caterpillars is Not Listed, as this insect species has not been categorized by IUCN.

Saddleback Caterpillar Fun Facts

What do saddleback caterpillars look like?

Saddleback caterpillars are green in color at either end and they have a prominent white-ringed brown dot in the center, which resembles a saddle. They also have a pair of fleshy horns at either side of their head.

The rest of the saddleback caterpillar’s body bears hairs that are urticating and secrete the irritating saddleback caterpillar venom.

When this insect species grows, it turns into a dark brown moth. When the wings are opened flat during the summer season, you can see that this moth has a small white spot on the forewings near the body, along with white spots near the tips of the wings.

Saddleback Caterpillar on a plant

*Please note that the main image is of a Spiny oak slug caterpillar , not a Saddleback Caterpillar specifically. If you have an image of a Saddleback Caterpillar, then please let us know at

How cute are they?

Saddleback caterpillars are not cute in appearance. Instead, they look very gross. They are also considered dangerous creatures as they secrete venom from their stingers that is very painful to humans as well as other creatures.

How do they communicate?

Saddleback caterpillars communicate with the help of body language and they can also feel vibrations. They also communicate through their mouthparts with the help of drumming or scraping.

How big is a saddleback caterpillar?

Saddleback caterpillar usually measure around 0.75 in (1.9 cm) in length. They are smaller in size when compared to other species of caterpillars.

How fast can saddleback caterpillars move?

There is no specific speed noted for how fact a saddleback caterpillar moth can move. They move fast when they see the predator approaching them, or they sense any sort of danger.

How much does a saddleback caterpillar weigh?

Saddleback caterpillars (Sibine stimulea)weight ranges from 1.1-2.2 lb (0.4-0.9 kg). They are very small in size and therefore weigh less when compared to other species.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and female species of saddleback caterpillars as they are known as saddleback caterpillars only.

What would you call a baby saddleback caterpillar?

There is no specific name for a baby saddleback caterpillar, it might be called a larvae by some.

What do they eat?

Saddleback caterpillars are found feeding on many different food items which include foliage, pears, cherry, roses, and many others. They also feed on different trees during the late summer season.

Are they harmful?

Yes, saddleback caterpillars are very harmful as they have many spines which can deliver a sting that is very painful. The spines of the caterpillar are connected to glands that are known as poison glands which are beneath its skin, and it can swell when you get in contact with them.

The saddleback caterpillar sting symptoms include anaphylactic shock, migraines and gastronomical issues.

Therefore, it is advised that you never touch a saddleback caterpillar as they can sting you very badly and cause severe pain.

The treatment for saddleback caterpillar sting is to wash the affected region with water and soap and then apply an ice pack. Another saddleback caterpillar sting treatment is using a baking soda poultice for reduction in pain and swelling.

Would they make a good pet?

No. They do not make good pets as they are very harmful to humans as well as other pets in the house. One should never pet a saddleback caterpillar butterfly (Sibine stimulea) as they can injure you very badly by stinging you with their poison. Saddleback caterpillar bites can be very painful and necessitate medical attention.

Did you know...

Saddleback caterpillars are poisonous and have spines that are poisonous on their four large projections. They have a purplish-brown spot in the middle of their body that is in the shape of an oval. Saddleback caterpillar stingers may also drop out of trees onto people and can occur on outdoor furniture as well.

What do you do if you get stung by a saddleback caterpillar?

Firstly, you need to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water that will help in removing the venom which may irritate you. You can also apply an ice pack and baking soda poultice that will help in reducing the swelling and pain.

Saddleback caterpillar sting will not kill you, but there are many side effects that you might notice later. It is very important to get it treated by your doctor. The irritation of the sting lasts for a day or two.

How to get rid of saddleback caterpillars?

In order to get rid of saddleback caterpillars, avoid planting apple, basswood, cherry, dogwood, elm, maple, oak, or plum trees. You should try spraying Reclaim IT every three months in order to keep saddleback caterpillars away.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including leaf-footed bug, or green stink bug.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our saddleback caterpillar coloring pages.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Chandan Shukla picture

Chandan ShuklaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Aryabhatta College, University of Delhi, Chandan is a skilled and passionate technophile. He has completed a machine learning training program and is adept in various programming languages. He has been working as a content writer for two years while also striving to become a proficient tech professional.

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