How many eyes do Caterpillars have?
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


close up of head of a Caterpillar Spodoptera litura showing eyes
as various small circles to the left and right of the head centre
(Photo: copyright Lyn Finn,
Hunter Region School of Photography in Newcastle,
Macquarie Hills, New South Wales)

Most Caterpillars have six very simple eyes on each side of the head (making 12 in all), although some species have five or seven each side. These light sensitive stuctures are called ocelli or stemmata. These probably only sense light and dark, and do not distinguish shapes or colour.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Caterpillars

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(updated 1 April 2005, 5 January 2014)