Do caterpillars have a sex before they become butterflies?

If you thought your teenage years were awkward, try going through puberty in a cocoon.

24th April 2018
Do caterpillars have a sex before they become butterflies? (Getty)

Asked by: Adrian Lewis, Exeter

The sex of a caterpillar is fixed at the moment the egg is fertilised­, but most species don’t show any sex-specific features until they turn into butterflies. The immature reproductive organs are still present in the larval stage though, and in a few species with translucent bodies, you can see the red or dark yellow testes of the males.

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