How to Identify Caterpillars in Missouri

Native Missouri caterpillars can be found in gardens, trees and grassy areas.
Native Missouri caterpillars can be found in gardens, trees and grassy areas. (Image: Baerbel Schmidt/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The task of uncovering an unidentified caterpillar's identity is similar to gathering clues to solve a mystery. Observing the caterpillar's exotic color or oddly-shaped head, might spark your curiosity for further exploration of the creature. If you'd like assistance in identifying caterpillars in the Missouri area, a few helpful resources are available to aid your source.

Observe the caterpillar's physical appearance and jot your findings in a notepad. This will come in handy as you attempt to identify different caterpillars. Note the caterpillars, color, body shape, texture and distinctive marks or features. If possible, take a picture of the caterpillar.

Access the University of Missouri's agricultural web page to view its" Caterpillars in Your Yard and Garden" series. This resource provides website visitors with a wealth of informative articles, including photos of native Missouri caterpillars and a brief description of each insect's characteristics and behaviors.

Click the "Next" button on each web page to advance through the photographs. Look at each picture and read the photo captions to help you identify caterpillars.

Upload a photo of the caterpillar to's official website. Before you can submit a picture, you must complete the short registration process and log in to the system. Click the "Add Image" link, which will appear on the screen after you've completed this process and upload the picture. Other registered users will view the photo and identify the caterpillar for you.

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