THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE BUTTERFLY
- **THINGS YOU NEVER KNEWABOUT the BUTTERFLYNext time you are in a sunlit meadowamong the gorgeous "flowers" taking wingYou'll recite a new and richer lyricNature's darker secret you may sing.Poems and metaphors have oft described themas transformations blossoming with charmBut if we really knew their secret storyour attitude might register alarmA caterpillar's destiny awaits itthe winged and wondrous angel it becomesBegins as soup and biscuits for another"Discs Imaginal" digest its crumbsMysterious and ravenous predationsips and rearranges every cellReassembling wings and vivid colorsfrom spare parts found in shadows deep in hellInstead of an unfolding of creationfrom a deity on golden throneThere exists a darker explanationLegendary myths are overthrownBehold the silly caterpillar feedingfamished and engorged until entombedThe Chrysalis becomes its double boilercooking up a serving in the womb"Discs Imaginal" serve up the banquetCaterpillar soup the bill of fareBefore it was a cuddly, sleepy, creatureBut now the BUTTERFLY is throbbing thereHow we choose to see this creepy processLargely is a matter of debateSome of us prefer a noble MagicOthers snub reality with hate.Next time you are in a sunlit meadowamong the gorgeous flowers taking wingYou'll recite a new and richer lyricNature's darker secret you may sing._______________________
However metamorphosis evolved, the enormous numbers of metamorphosing insects on the planet speak for its success as a reproductive strategy. The primary advantage of complete metamorphosis is eliminating competition between the young and old. Larval insects and adult insects occupy very different ecological niches. Whereas caterpillars are busy gorging themselves on leaves, completely disinterested in reproduction, butterflies are flitting from flower to flower in search of nectar and mates. Because larvas and adults do not compete with one another for space or resources, more of each can coexist relative to species in which the young and old live in the same places and eat the same things. Ultimately, the impetus for many of life's astounding transformations also explains insect metamorphosis: survival.
@ scientific american
From Discs imaginal to imago