No, this is not gold. It's butterfly pupae. Viral video stuns Internet
The internet is intrigued after watching a video of butterfly pupae that appear to resemble gold at first sight. Pupa is the life-stage of insects in the transformation stage between the larva and the imago.
Parveen Kaswan of the Indian Forest Service shared the eight-second video on Twitter and it has gone crazy viral with over 43,000 views within eight hours of being made available online.
The butterfly pupae appeared similar to pieces of gold as Kaswan described them as the "pupa of Tithorea tarricina" in the caption of his post. Tithorea tarricina, also known as cream-spotted tigerwing, is a species of butterfly found in Mexico and Central and South America.
"No, they are not #gold. They are pupa of Tithorea tarricina #butterflies. The adaptation is to make them survive in #wild. Amazing #nature," Kaswan said in the caption of his post.
Kaswan explained the life cycle of a butterfly in a separate post. Butterflies undergo complete transformation after the female insect lays eggs on leaves and plants. Caterpillars grow inside these eggs that take a few weeks to hatch. In some cases, eggs hatch after the weather turns warm. Caterpillars, thereafter, eat their way out of the eggs and begin feeding on leaves.
After shedding its skin for a few times, caterpillars form themselves into pupae. It is described as a vessel in which the caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly. To change into a butterfly from the pupa may take weeks as well as several months, as per the species of the insect.