Caterpillar Cat"er*pil`lar, n. [OE. catyrpel, corrupted fr. OF. chatepelouse, or cate pelue, fr. chate, F. chatte, she-cat, fem. of chat, L. catus + L. pilosus hairy, or F. pelu hairy, fr. L. pilus hair. See {Cat}, and {Pile} hair.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) The larval state of a butterfly or any lepidopterous insect; sometimes, but less commonly, the larval state of other insects, as the sawflies, which are also called false caterpillars. The true caterpillars have three pairs of true legs, and several pairs of abdominal fleshy legs (prolegs) armed with hooks. Some are hairy, others naked. They usually feed on leaves, fruit, and succulent vegetables, being often very destructive, Many of them are popularly called worms, as the {cutworm}, {cankerworm}, {army worm}, {cotton worm}, {silkworm}. [1913 Webster]

2. (Bot.) A plant of the genus {Scorpiurus}, with pods resembling caterpillars. [1913 Webster]

{Caterpillar catcher}, or {Caterpillar eater} (Zo["o]l.), a bird belonging to the family of Shrikes, which feeds on caterpillars. The name is also given to several other birds.

{Caterpillar hunter} (Zo["o]l.), any species of beetles of the genus {Callosoma} and other allied genera of the family {Carabid[ae]} which feed habitually upon caterpillars. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cankerworm — ☆ cankerworm [kaŋ′kərwʉrm΄] n. any of several larvae of geometrid moths that are harmful to fruit and shade trees, esp. the spring cankerworm (Paleacrita vernata) that feeds on fruit and foliage …   English World dictionary

  • Cankerworm — Can ker*worm , n. (Zo[ o]l.) The larva of two species of geometrid moths which are very injurious to fruit and shade trees by eating, and often entirely destroying, the foliage. Other similar larv[ae] are also called cankerworms. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cankerworm — /kang keuhr werrm /, n. the striped, green caterpillar of any of several geometrid moths: a foliage pest of various fruit and shade trees, as Paleacrita vernata (spring cankerworm) and Alsophila pometaria (fall cankerworm). See illus. under… …   Universalium

  • cankerworm — noun green caterpillar of a geometrid moth; pest of various fruit and shade trees • Hypernyms: ↑caterpillar • Hyponyms: ↑spring cankerworm, ↑fall cankerworm • Member Holonyms: ↑Geometridae, ↑family Geometridae …   Useful english dictionary

  • cankerworm — Dropworm Drop worm (dr[o^]p w[^u]rm ), n. (Zo[ o]l.) The larva of any geometrid moth, which drops from trees by means of a thread of silk, as the {cankerworm} or {inchworm}. See {inchworm} and {geometrid}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cankerworm —    (Heb. yelek), the licking locust, which licks up the grass of the field; probably the locust at a certain stage of its growth, just as it emerges from the caterpillar state (Joel 1:4; 2:25). The word is rendered caterpillar in Ps. 105:34; Jer …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • cankerworm — noun Date: 1530 either of two geometrid moths (Alsophila pometaria and Paleacrita vernata) and especially their larvae which are serious pests of fruit and shade trees …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cankerworm — noun Either of two caterpillars, the larvae of geometrid moths, that are destructive to fruit, buds and leaves …   Wiktionary

  • cankerworm — n. type of caterpillar; trouble, adversity …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cankerworm — noun the caterpillar of a North American moth that feeds on the buds and leaves of trees …   English new terms dictionary

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