with some bugs it really does feel less like the larval stage is the ‘baby’ stage and more like its the ‘normal’ stage and the bug’s final form is just their extra special final form they use to fuck
I was actually distraught as a child when I found out that an antlion was “just” a “larva” to something else but later I learned that they spend two to three entire years that way and the adult only lives for a couple of months.
Butterflies are also shorter lived than caterpillars; we can think of them more as the caterpillar dispersal system.
We also always hear about how “mayflies only live a few days” but that ignores the fact that they, too, spend years as aquatic nymphs.
same for dobsonflies, which live for maybe a week as adults, but for years as enormous highly predatory aquatic larvae called hellgrammites.
except with dobsonflies, all forms feel a bit extra. If they were pokemon they would be some late generation multi-form legendary
Pretty, graceful adult dragonflies live only for like seven months, but beforehand they spend five years as this
aquatic predatory incarnation of bullshit, which hunts other aquatic insects and even small fish with its big fucking xenomorph mouthparts.
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