SLAS

Butterflies remember their Caterpillar days

From LabAutopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The change of a caterpillar to a moth or butterfly is one of the most astounding transformations in nature. Most of the caterpillar is liquefied to a protein soup in the cocoon except for a few structures. That's why it is so amazing that a moth can remember something it was taught as a caterpillar. This transformation was particularly interesting this year where I live in the Northeast U.S. We have had an infestation of caterpillars this year. In some places they are so dense that they can strip every leaf off of a 100 foot oak tree in less than a month. As much as this destruction is disturbing, you have to admire the process of metamorphosis. The first link explains the experiment on caterpillar to moth memory and the second describes the entire life cycle with amazing photos of the diversity of eggs, caterpillars and butterflies.

Further reading

Butterflies remember their Caterpillar days
http://www.livescience.com/2349-butterflies-remember-caterpillar-days.html

The life cycle of butterflies and moths
http://www.ukleps.org/morphology.html