How Many Legs Does A Caterpillar Have?

Caterpillars come in all sorts of sizes and thickness. Close-up, they can look like huge alien worms, with their bright colors, spots and stripes, and sometimes what looks like hundreds of legs. 

The number of legs that caterpillars can have varies with the kind of caterpillar and sometimes with its stage. Usually all of the butterflies or moths in the same family will have the same number of legs on their caterpillars. Most caterpillars of the larger moths and butterflies have 3 pairs of true legs, or a total of six real legs. And most have 5 pairs of prolegs on their abdomen, which makes a total of 16 legs.  

Upon maturity, the caterpillar will morph into a butterfly with only 6 legs (from the original pair of 3 true legs).

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