Skip to Content

Do Caterpillars Drink Water? (Quick Answers)

Caterpillar can make great pets if they are given enough to eat. They are not high maintenance at all. If you are busy and want a small pet for your child that will not require too much work, caterpillars will seize the day.

It is very fascinating to see a caterpillar turn into a beautiful butterfly. They can be tamed with training. The texture of butterflies is just amazing. What we need to take care of is the eating habit of the little creature. So, here rises a question. Do caterpillars drink water?

Below given is everything that you need to know about the drinking habits of different types of caterpillars.

Do caterpillars drink water?

No, caterpillars do not drink water. As surprising as it is, but caterpillars absorb their necessary fluids from the plants they eat and do not require water. However, some species such as tiger moth caterpillars can be given some moisture to avoid getting dried out.

Let’s see if the following caterpillars drink water or not –

The monarch butterfly:

The monarch butterfly is well known for its orange texture with a tinge of the black border. Monarch caterpillars do not need water. They obtain moisture from their host plants.

Woolly bear caterpillar:

Woolly bear caterpillar also known as the Isabella tiger moth is very fluffy when it’s a caterpillar. They do not require water because they get water from the leaves. Spray a bit of water on the leaves and you will see the caterpillar taking a drink.

Tomato caterpillars:

Tomato caterpillars are also known as five-spotted hawk moths love the tomato plants. It is better to spray some water on the tomato leaves as tomato caterpillars are packed with moisture and stay hydrated.

Swallowtail caterpillars:

Swallowtail caterpillars have unique patterned skin. They usually tend to eat alone hence they receive the required moisture from the plants they eat.

Green caterpillars:

Green caterpillars also do not need water as they obtain enough from the plants and turn from a larva to a bright green caterpillar.

How do caterpillars drink water?

Caterpillars do not drink water like other pets. They obtain their necessary fluids from the plants they eat.

However, it is good to spray the leaves with water as then the caterpillars will receive enough moisture and become hydrated while eating the plants.

If you spray some water, you might see your caterpillar taking a sip from it. Some caterpillars such as tiger moth caterpillars require a bit of water to prevent them from getting dried out.

Caterpillars are not that high maintenance; they do not even need water. However, you can always spray some moisture on the leaves to make sure your little pet has access to it.

What to kind of water do caterpillars drink?

Caterpillars get the water in the form of fluids from the plants they eat. They do not drink water on their own. They also benefit outside from the pouring rain and other forms of moisture reaching them.

And for pet caterpillars, you can spray some water on the leaves and you might see caterpillars such as the tiger moth taking a sip from the plant.

There is no need to worry regarding the drinking habits of a caterpillar. They can adjust easily by the fluids they obtain while eating plants. This is one of the other reasons why caterpillars are considered to be low-maintenance pets.

What do caterpillars eat and drink?

Caterpillars are very flexible regarding their eating habit which is why it is very easy to feed them and manage them as pets.

There are certain things that caterpillars love to munch on. Below given are examples of things that caterpillars eat and drink.

Plants, flowers, twigs, and bark:

As we all know caterpillars mainly eat plants and obtain their necessary nutrients and moisture. The tomato caterpillar is obsessed with the tomato plant.

However, some caterpillars also love to munch on flowers such as the Star-wort caterpillar. Some caterpillars also eat bark and twigs from sallow trees.


Some caterpillars invade the privacy of bees and lay eggs on the honeycomb. Once the eggs hatch they feast on the honeycomb sometimes leaving damages behind.

Ants and animal waste:

Some caterpillars eat lifeless birds, mice, beetles, other insects, etc. They are considered to be the cleaner of nature and play a very vital role in this part.

It can seem disgusting but they help clean the environment from animal waste. Some caterpillars rely on a specific species of red ants. They eat the red ants as soon as they become butterflies.

Wild grass:

Some caterpillars love to eat wild grass. They are a close substitute for the plant. If they get bored while eating plants they might switch to the grass for a change.

Drinking habit:

Caterpillars do not usually drink water. They obtain the necessary fluids from the plants they eat. If you have a pet caterpillar, you can spray some water on the plants for them to get some extra moisture.

How do you give caterpillar water?

You can spray the plants they feed on with mist. They will absorb the moisture while eating the plants. There is no need to worry about giving the caterpillar water as they obtain sufficient fluids by eating the plants. Wild caterpillars also benefit from rain and other forms of moisture.

If you have a pet caterpillar inside a cage it is better to spray some water on the plants they eat to keep them from drying out. If you are lucky you may see a caterpillar taking a sip from the mist on the plants.

Do caterpillars drink sugar water?

Caterpillars do not drink sugar water. However, they require nectar and sugar solutions. They can be given flowers to feast on the nectar and sugary solution.

It is required for some of the caterpillars as well as butterflies to survive. However, they are incapable of drinking sugar water directly. They will gain the necessary sugar solution by munching on flowers.

How do you keep a caterpillar alive in a jar?

The jar should be well ventilated and covered with a lid that has holes in it. The jar needs the host plant with enough water sprayed for the caterpillar to feed and live on until it can bloom into a butterfly.

The jar should be filled with water first and you need to put cotton balls between the lid and the water to prevent the caterpillar from drowning. They do not require extra water for survival.

Final thoughts

To sum up, caterpillars do not drink water but they receive the necessary fluids from the plants they eat. Some water can be sprayed on the top of the leaves for caterpillars such as the tiger moth as they may require some extra moisture. Caterpillars are flexible regarding their eating habits.