News Round-Up

How very hungry caterpillars grow and grow and don’t get sick


What if I told you that right in your backyard there lives a creature that eats five times its weight every day and grows a thousandfold in weeks. Instinctively, you’d probably want to stay away from the gluttonous beast! However, it wouldn’t be interested in you at all — in fact, it’s a vegan. Feel safer now?

Well, you shouldn’t.

You may have come across this gluttonous beast in kindergarten: the hungry hungry caterpillar, who ate his way through pages of food. Humanity loses $470 billion of food to crop pests like caterpillars every year. To put this in perspective, this is how much money Austria (yes, the whole country) made in 2018 (its gross domestic product). MORE

Header image: The tomato fruitworm — larva of Helicoverpa zea moth — is a major agricultural pest. Credit: Oliver.dodd/Flickr, CC BY-SA.