Butterflies are nature’s masterpiece. They are extremely adorable. They brighten the images of sunshine with their colors and warmth. But, that’s not the point of discussion here. It’s the way their life cycle moves from point zero to their final destination, that’s the part that needs some enlightenment. Isn’t it exciting that a creepy worm transforms into some of the best flying beauties? A complete change in their personality, characteristics, supposedly genome as well. This is like two different DNA molecules are sharing space in a car, but only until halfway. One disappears and the other becomes the prime focused entity the rest of the drive. 

This theory actually was backlashes by some of the prominent biologists and zoologists. They made jokes and thought this was probably one of the worst ideas. One more zoologist, Donal Williamson, however, thought that the theory was not bogus at all. It could actually be a possibility. So, they started talking about death and the resurrection theory and this is how they explained the concept.

The Death And The Resurrection Cycle 

Almost every insect starts their life cycle as a worm or those tubular smaller creatures. We give them a lot of names. Be it maggots, caterpillars that have similar sets of genes namely, A, C, T, or G. So, all the instructions of the genome for being a caterpillar works only until the next part that is temporarily silent activates. So, it grows, spins itself in a cocoon and goes silent. This is like a death phase where the caterpillars shrink, dissolve their skin, and even organs that defined them until now. Not only that, their cells even die. So, the next part of the genome that was initially silent starts working. 

Now, the genes jumpstart their revival process. They reorganize everything from the minutest cell to the organs to help them convert into a completely new organism, i.e., a butterfly or a moth.  It is indeed true that different sets of genetic instructions work in a way that one body seems to die and the other starts its life. It’s like a caterpillar is born and a butterfly is simply resurrected from what’s left there. Isn’t that a great idea? It’s like two completely different species arising from a single genome. That takes us to the next part of the article. Is butterfly an evolutionary change or just challenging the meaning of species?

Is Butterfly a New Species or Just a Mere Metamorphosis Product?

This query has completely led to another level of madness amongst scientists. To decide the fate, scientists started analyzing different species in the United States and Canada. They have revealed that at critical evolutionary trends and that butterfly species have completely surpassed the reproductive barrier. This study started in 2012 by Nick Grishin. They checked their DNA patterns among the butterflies and checked their genetic inheritance. They actually saw their taxonomy and saw that the genomic tree of butterflies was totally different from what it was supposed to be. They reclassified the entire species into new genus categories. 

So, they evolve depending on the need of their genetics. Although, scientists still don’t understand why they start from a larval stage. Why they can’t just evolve like a butterfly to start with. This is what they could come up with. The advantage of such metamorphosis is that you avoid competition. They occupy different ecosystem niches. So, nobody is actually competing for any resources at any point in time. It is because of the simple reason, they had to survive in harsh conditions. 


Survival of the fittest. That’s how evolution has been working for centuries. Multiple scientists are working in the same category to understand the relationship between the two completely different entities in character yet from the same genome. Some think the former is dying and the latter one is resurrecting from the fluids or any left out material. While the others are working under the philosophy that larvae completely transforms into a beautiful creature that is a part of those amazing sunshine and mornings where children love to see their colors. And flowers look extremely mesmerizing whenever captured by them. 

So, the answer that keeps on making the scientific world pretty much crazy is still under wraps. For now, you can use whatever theory. It must be in relation to your subject or review title. That’s how things will change as per the situations. And if you think butterflies are the only ones. You are wrong. They are one of the 80,000 species that make a transition from larvae to adults through a complete change in their characteristics. They are a classic case of changing personalities over time. I thought only humans could be like that. Fake and changing persona after every changing situation.