1. Nom générique des larves de tous les papillons: elles ont le corps formé de douze anneaux, et rampent ŕ l'aide de plusieurs pattes.
2. Moyen de locomotion qui met une sorte de courroie cloutée ŕ la place des roues, et qui permet ŕ un véhicule de grimper ŕ travers des terrains très inégaux.
ETYM Old Eng. catyrpel, corrupted from Old Fren. chatepelouse, or cate pelue, from chate, French chatte, she-cat, fem. of chat, Latin catus + Latin pilosus hairy, or French pelu hairy, from Latin pilus hair. Related to Cat, and Pile hair.
A wormlike and often brightly colored and hairy or spiny larva of a butterfly or moth.
Larval stage of a butterfly or moth. Wormlike in form, the body is segmented, may be hairy, and often has scent glands. The head has strong biting mandibles, silk glands, and a spinneret.
Many caterpillars resemble the plant on which they feed, dry twigs, or rolled leaves. Others are highly colored and rely for their protection on their irritant hairs, disagreeable smell, or on their power to eject a corrosive fluid. Yet others take up a “threat attitude” when attacked. Caterpillars emerge from eggs that have been laid by the female insect on the food plant and feed greedily, increasing greatly in size and casting their skins several times, until the pupal stage is reached. The abdominal segments bear a varying number of “pro-legs” as well as the six true legs on the thoracic segments.
Trade name for an endless flexible belt of metal plates on which certain vehicles such as tanks and bulldozers run, which takes the place of ordinary tyred wheels and improves performance on wet or uneven surfaces.
A track-laying vehicle has a track on each side, and its engine drives small cogwheels that run along the top of the track in contact with the ground. The advantage of such tracks over wheels is that they distribute the vehicle's weight over a wider area and are thus ideal for use on soft and waterlogged as well as rough and rocky ground.