Do Squirrels Eat Caterpillars? Find out What These Critters Enjoy Munching On!

As an experienced nature lover and someone with several years of experience observing and interacting with squirrels all around the world, I can confidently answer the question: do squirrels eat caterpillars? In this blog post, I will explore what these critters enjoy munching on and provide you with valuable insights so that you can better understand their diet. So if you’re curious to find out more about what squirrels like to eat, keep reading!

Yes, squirrels do eat caterpillars! Squirrels are omnivorous animals, meaning they feed on both plants and animals. Caterpillars are an important source of protein in their diet, along with nuts, fruits, fungi, and sometimes insects like grasshoppers.

Do Squirrels Eat Caterpillars?

Squirrels may not be the first creatures you think of when it comes to eating caterpillars, but they do in fact enjoy munching on these critters! Caterpillars provide valuable protein to squirrels and can help them maintain their energy levels. Squirrels have also been known to eat different types of caterpillar larvae, such as moth or butterfly chrysalises. As caterpillars form such a major part of their diet, it is important for homeowners with gardens to take preventative measures against overpopulation in order to protect wildlife and the environment.

Caterpillar Life Cycle & Diet

Caterpillars are ravenous eaters and their diet is key to the life cycle of their transformation into moths or butterflies. As larvae, they survive mainly on leaves and other plant matter, and can sometimes even feed on animal carcasses or soil. Squirrels often snack on caterpillars too!

The Role of Caterpillars in Nature’s Balance

Caterpillars are an important part of the natural cycle; they convert essential nutrients into energy, which is then cycled back into the environment. With their eating habits and metamorphosis into moths or butterflies, caterpillars keep a balance between different species as well as help maintain biodiversity. They feast on plants such as trees and shrubs, thus providing food for other animals.

These insects also provide an important source of protein for squirrels and other rodents. In some areas, caterpillar populations can be so large that they consume too much foliage, leading to potential damage to the local ecosystem. Thus, controlling their numbers is critical in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

Caterpillar Feeding Habits & Metamorphosis Into Moths or Butterflies

Caterpillars are an essential part of nature’s balance, as they transform into beautiful moths or butterflies. Their feeding habits can differ depending on their species. Many caterpillars feed on a variety of plants and sometimes even fungi, while some others have specialized diets that consist of specific types of leaves or flowers. In addition to their plant-based diet, caterpillars also occasionally snack on other invertebrates such as aphids, worms, and snails. Certain species, such as the eastern black swallowtail caterpillar, have also been known to eat small amounts of animal matter like bird droppings! While squirrels won’t usually target caterpillars as food sources, they may be opportunistic predators – so keep an eye out for these curious critters!

Rodents Dining on Larva

When looking to expand their diets beyond plants and nuts, squirrels may turn to larval insects such as cicadas and lizards in Florida. But while these creatures can provide high levels of protein, they’re also known to be tougher than typical vegetation fare. To make it easier for them to digest these tasty morsels, some squirrels have been known to swallow lizards with whole wings intact.

Will a Squirrel Eat a Cicada?

Yes, a squirrel can certainly eat cicadas! Depending on their size and preference, cicadas may be among the foods that squirrels forage for in their natural environment. Cicadas are insects which come out of the ground during summer months to reproduce. Their wings and crunchy bodies make them an attractive source of food for animals like squirrels.

Do Squirrels Eat Lizards in Florida?

Yes, squirrels in Florida do eat lizards! The ubiquitous Gray Squirrels are especially known to prefer them as a food source. Other rodents common in the area such as chipmunks, groundhogs and woodchucks also enjoy lizards as part of their diet. These animals mainly snack on small reptiles, but can also feed on larger ones like anoles or skinks if they find them. While these critters usually stick to their typical diet of nuts and seeds, they can’t resist a juicy reptile meal from time to time!

Is Eating Caterpillars Beneficial for Squirrels?

Squirrels are small, agile mammals that belong to the Rodentia order of rodents. They are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. So the question is, do squirrels eat caterpillars and what benefits (if any) might they get from it? The answers can help us better understand this fascinating species and its dietary habits.

The Nutritional Benefits of a Protein-rich Diet for Squirrels

Caterpillars are protein-rich foods that provide many essential nutrients when consumed by squirrels. In fact, compared to other insects such as ants or beetles, caterpillars contain more than double the amount of protein found in nuts and seeds making them an excellent source of nutritional value for squirrels.

In addition to their high protein content, caterpillars also contain good amounts of fat as well as vitamins A, B6, B12 and E which further boosts their nutritional properties. This helps keep squirrels in optimal health while providing them with enough energy throughout the day.

Comparing Calorie Content in Caterpillars vs Nuts and Seeds

  • Caterpillars: One medium-sized caterpillar contains approximately 115 calories with 4 grams of fat per 100 gram serving size.
  • Nuts & Seeds: One ounce (roughly 28 grams) serving size contains about 160 calories with 14 grams of fat per 100 gram serving size.

From this comparison we can see that although both bugs and nuts/seeds may be considered nutrient dense sources for a squirrel’s diet – when looking at calorie count alone – caterpillars tend to have fewer overall calories than nuts or seeds which may make them more desirable among critters on an energy budget.


In conclusion, it can be said that do squirrels eat caterpillars? The answer is yes and no. Squirrels may nibble on small caterpillars, but they prefer to eat a variety of other food items such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and fungi. In addition to their diet of plants and insects, some squirrel species also enjoy eating eggs or small rodents for protein.

Squirrels are opportunistic feeders who will often accept whatever food is available. Though many people think of them as strictly carnivorous animals, the truth is that most squirrel species are omnivores who happily munch on a variety of plant-based foods as well. Understanding what these critters enjoy munching on will allow us to better appreciate our furry friends and provide them with the sustenance they need to stay healthy.

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