MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Do caterpillars have noses?

Date: Thu Apr 29 15:27:20 2004
Posted By: David Hubble, Consultant/Owner
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1083018292.Gb

Hi Melissa,

Good question - the short answer is, no, caterpillars do not have noses. 
Instead, they have two short antennae low down on each side of their head, 
one in front of each cluster of eyes. Caterpillar's antennae are very 
short, each much like a tiny bristle with a fleshy base, but they have 
plenty of sensory receptors and are used to determione whether potential 
food is acceptable - a bit like smell and taste combined. Some 
caterpillars have other, larger protrusions and bristles, but these are 
not antennae - they are structures that confuse predators or make them 
difficult/unpleasant to eat.

Anyhow, I hope that answers your question, and I'm sure us mad scientists 
will enjoy the next one!

Dr. Dave Hubble, UK

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