Monarch Caterpillar Mouth Claspers

I was taking a picture of a Monarch caterpillar and noticed that besides the regular 6 front legs, the cat has what appears to be 4 front claspers to hold and pull the food toward its mouth. Does anyone know what these are called? I’ve never seen that before and they’re not labeled in the scientific book I have.

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1 Comment

Filed under Caterpillars, Monarchs

One response to “Monarch Caterpillar Mouth Claspers

  1. Beautiful photograph!

    The legs you can see are the true legs, on the thorax (three segments). These legs are jointed.

    The legs you can see on the abdomen (usually five pairs) are actually false legs called ‘prolegs’, They have tiny hooks on them to hold the larva (caterpillar) onto the leaf.

    Hope that helps!

    Jacqui
    Madam Butterfly
    New Zealand

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