|Appears in||Rayman 2, Rayman 3 (Game Boy Advance)|
|Location||The Fairy Glade, the Cave of Bad Dreams, the Sanctuary of Stone and Fire, the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava, beneath the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava|
|Species||Nightmare of Polokus|
We can no longer even keep track of all the sinister results provoked by the arrival of the pirates: disturbances in overall harmony, the proliferation of piranhas, giant spiders and caterpillars, etc...—Manual, Rayman 2: The Great Escape
It is unknown whether they have any connection to the Squabs, another species of caterpillar found in Rayman's world, or to the popolopoï or the tribelles, two species of butterfly native to the Glade of Dreams.
Their bodies are composed of multiple segments joined together in a line, like their real-world counterparts. Those segments appear as round puffs of darkness. On their head, they have malevolent-looking yellow eyes.
Caterpillars often move in swarms; each caterpillar has a unique route which it patrols endlessly, unless it catches sight of an intruder. They move by crawling and leaping. They produce strange sounds, similar to the hissings of a snake. They attack Rayman by jumping on him, but they cannot survive a single shot from his magic fist.
Caterpillars are sometimes found emerging from cracks in stone walls or floors; in these cases, any caterpillar killed by Rayman is quickly replaced by another.
In Rayman 2
In the time leading up to the events of this game, caterpillars were among the Nightmares of Polokus who managed to escape the Cave of Bad Dreams after the destruction of the Heart of the World by the Robo-Pirates.
In the PlayStation 2 remake of Rayman 2, a new boss named Boss Chenille is introduced. It looks just like a normal caterpillar, but with some significant differences: whereas they are a purplish-black in colour, Boss Chenille is blood-red; Boss Chenille is also somewhat larger, and it eyes are identical to the baby caterpillars' ones.
Boss Chenille is found in a room in the Sanctuary of Lava. It is summoned by Rayman performing a rain dance on what looks like a greyish version of one of the Magic Spheres' bases. When this is done, it emits a beam of light towards another such base. When Rayman shoots it, it too emits a beam of light towards another base. After shooting several more bases, the beam of light has finished its circumnavigation of the chamber; a door opens, and Boss Chenille enters.
When Rayman strikes Boss Chenille with his magic fist, a red baby caterpillar splits away from its body. When the hero shoots it, he splits into five black baby caterpillars. When they are killed, Boss Chenille's health meter decreases. As the battle wears on, the segments of Boss Chenille's body slowly disappear; by the end, it resembles an enormous red version of one of the baby caterpillars. When this final form is defeated, Boss Chenille vanishes for good.
The first clue as to Boss Chenille's identity is its name; Chenille is the French word for Caterpillar, while the name Boss implies that it may possibly be a leader. And during the battle, Boss Chenille spawns baby caterpillars from its body. All of this led to speculation that Boss Chenille may be the progenitor or ‘mother’ of the caterpillar species, in addition to the speculation that it is their leader.
Caterpillars are also seen in various levels in the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3; unlike those in Rayman 2, these caterpillars do not die when hit, but rather, their eyes turn red, and they shrink to the size of a baby caterpillar and fall to the ground, where they remain, trembling. They can then be picked up by Rayman as if they were kegs, Magic Spheres or plums; however, this action serves no practical purpose within the game. These caterpillars splatter if they fall into lava or spikes, or if Rayman picks them up and throws them into a hard surface or other creature. If left lying on the ground for a while, they can recover themselves.