Catermanders are commonly referred to as a cross between Terran caterpillars and salamanders (though they should not be confused with Landian salamanders). It should also be noted that, just as Earth's caterpillars are the larval form of the insect order that metamorphoses into butterflies and moths, catermanders themselves metamorphose into flutterbies. Of course, Earth has many species butterflies, just as the Land has many species of flutterbies (and therefore various species of caterpillars of our own). However, catermanders are unique among these species in that they are more amphibious in nature than insectoid (though they do have six legs rather than four). They have slick skins, and in the larval stage are at home both on land and in water. While in the pupal stage, catermanders grow a tail as well as wings; when it emerges from its cocoon, its body is said to almost exactly resemble that of a Terran spotted salamander, except that it is considerably smaller (about two to two and a half inches from the top of the head to the tip of the tail). And, of course, there are the wings and the six legs. At this point, it is considered a "triphibian," at home on land, water, and in the air.
The term "catermander" can be used to refer to the larval, pupal, and imago stages of development. The species has been found in all settled areas of the Land, excluding the Northern Alliance.