Fat edible caterpillars or mopani worms. In rural areas they are collected from trees but in town they have to be bought. They are soaked in water and then salted and boiled before being fried until crisp. The mopane worm is a large caterpillar that feeds on the mopane tree, Colophospermum mopane. The adult stage is a large and attractive Emperor moth (Family Saturnidae). The worm is an important source of protein and income to many people. However, the trade is threatened by over-harvesting, and mopane worms are now rare or extinct in some areas where they were once common.