All insects have 6 legs, but their larvae often has more. So is a caterpillar an insect?

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All insects have 6 legs, but their larvae often has more. So is a caterpillar an insect?

In: Biology

Yes. Their genus and species doesn’t change just because of developmental changes the individual goes through.

Yes, caterpillars are insects. The many “legs” that you see on caterpillars and other similar (“eruciform”, which literally means “caterpillar-shaped”) types of larvae aren’t actually real legs, they’re what’s called “prolegs”: basically, stubby leg-esque appendages that don’t have the same structure as a real leg but get used to move around. A caterpillar’s six real legs, called its “thoracic” legs, are the six spindly little appendages you see near its mouth. If you look really closely, you can see that the thoracic legs are segmented like the legs that it will have when it grows into a butterfly. The prolegs are not segmented; they’re basically hydraulically-powered little tubes (with a little bit of muscle) with hooks on the end to hang onto stuff.

Note: This information is apparently under some scientific dispute, so I might not be completely right. This is what I’m given to understand is the most currently accepted information.

Yes, it is. It does not have more legs, only 6 of them, which you can see at the front. The other ones, while functioning the same as the true legs, are not. Think of it as orange juice. While one kind of, the real one, is made by juicing oranges, the other one is artificially created in a factory. So, both are orange juice, and you drink them just the same, but one of them is really orange juice while the other kinda ain’t