How do Caterpillars breathe?

    
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


Caterpillar of Cephonodes kingii, SPHINGIDAE

On each side of each segment there is an oval opening called the spiracle. This leads in to a branching tube, the trachea, that delivers air to all of the segments. The Caterpillar does not actually breath, but the compression and extension of each segemnt as the Caterpillar moves causes the air to go in and out of the spiracles, so that oxygen can be taken in, and carbon dioxide given out.

Link to
Frequently Asked Questions about Caterpillars

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(updated 5 March 2007)