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毛虫的“茧”里有什么? – 译学馆
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毛虫的“茧”里有什么?

What’s Inside A Caterpillar 'Cocoon'

What would you do for the power to fly?
为了获得飞行能力你会怎么做?
How about shedding your skin
皮肤脱落听起来如何
and dissolving your own muscles?
还有肌肉融化?
Now, believe it or not, that gruesome process
现在 信不信由你 这个可怕的过程
is how caterpillars earn their wings.
使毛毛虫获得了他们的翅膀
Here’s what you might not know
你也许不知道的
about what’s inside a caterpillar’s “cocoon.”
蝴蝶的“茧”里有什么
Contrary to popular belief, this is not a cocoon.
与大众普遍认为的相反 这不是一个茧
Only certain moths build cocoons,
只有特定种类的蛾会结茧
which are like a silky sleeping bag that covers the insect.
茧像一个柔软光滑的睡袋包裹着虫体
This, on the other hand, is what’s called a chrysalis.
这个 从另一方面来讲 称之为蛹
It’s not a sack or a pouch;
它不是一个口袋或者小包
it’s actually the caterpillar’s own body.
它实际上是蝴蝶的身体
When it’s time for the transformation to begin,
当变形阶段开始的时候
the caterpillar’s body ramps up production
毛毛虫的身体开始大量合成
of a hormone called ecdysone,
一种叫做脱皮素的荷尔蒙
and that causes it to cast off its outer coating,
激素使得毛虫得以摆脱它的外层皮肤
sort of like how a snake sheds its skin.
和蛇类蜕皮有点类似
And underneath is a hard shell
在外皮之下是一层坚硬的壳
similar to the exoskeleton of a beetle.
有些类似甲虫的外骨骼
After that, life for the little caterpillar gets oozy.
此后 蝴蝶的生命将会变得黏黏糊糊
First, it releases enzymes called caspases.
首先 它会释放一种叫做凋亡酶的酶
These rip apart and dissolve cells in its muscles,
这种酶能扯破并融解毛虫的肌肉细胞
digestive system, and other organs.
消化系统 和其它器官
But the enzymes don’t quite liquefy all of the caterpillar.
但是这些酶不会将毛虫全部液化
They leave key structures intact, like breathing tubes.
关键器官被完整保留下来 例如呼吸管
At the same time, specialized cells
与此同时 被称为成虫盘的
called imaginal discs start waking up.
特化细胞开始被激活
Before the chrysalis stage, these discs were kept dormant
结蛹之前 毛虫体内一系列荷尔蒙致使
by a series of hormones in the caterpillar’s body.
成虫盘一直处于休眠状态
But once the transformation begins,
但当变形开始
those hormone levels take a nosedive,
这些荷尔蒙水平急剧下降
giving these discs the opportunity to do what they do best:
使得这些成虫盘有机会发挥它们的实力
build a butterfly.
制造一只蝴蝶
You see, each disc contains the genetic recipe
要知道 每个盘中承载的基因密码
to form a different adult body part,
分别负责构成成虫身体的不同部分
starting from the inside out.
从内到外
After one week, the digestive system
一周之后 蝴蝶的消化系统
of the butterfly is well on its way.
已经生长完全
And by day 16, the adult’s legs, wings, eyes,
到了第十六天 成虫的腿 翅膀 眼睛
and mouth are all present and in working order.
和嘴已经长成并且开始工作
Now, two weeks is a remarkably short time for all of this to happen,
对于发生的这一切 两周是非常短暂的时间
since each imaginal disc starts out with only about 50 cells
由于每个成虫盘最初只有大约五十个细胞
and must multiply those into thousands
所以它们必须千倍的增殖
just to form a single wing.
才能形成一片翅膀
And if you checked out the chrysalis around day 16,
如果你观察一个十六天大的虫蛹
you might even be able to see
你也许甚至能观察到
those brilliantly colored wings.
它们色彩鲜艳的翅膀
Because for some species,
因为有些蝴蝶物种
their chrysalis turns transparent
它们的蛹在蜕变的最后几天
in their final days of metamorphosis.
会变得透明可见
Now, fully formed, it’s time to hit the road.
现在 蝴蝶已经完全成形 是时候起飞了
The chrysalis splits open down the center,
虫蛹会一直裂开到中央部分
and the butterfly escapes.
接着蝴蝶从中解脱出来
Meanwhile, a reddish liquid spills out.
同时 一种红色液体会从蛹中漏出来
That’s all the waste the butterfly,
那些全部都是蝴蝶
née caterpillar, produced during its stay.
即原来的毛虫 在蛹中生活时产生的废物
Once its wings expand and harden, it’s ready to mate,
当翅膀展开并且变硬 它便可以去求偶
pollinate, and slurp nectar to its heart’s desire.
传粉 并且吮吸它们喜爱的花蜜
But one of the most interesting parts of all?
但是其中最有趣的是?
Research suggests that butterflies
研究表明蝴蝶
and moths can remember their caterpillar days.
和蛾子拥有毛虫时期的记忆
In one study, researchers trained moth caterpillars
在一项研究中 研究员训练蛾的幼虫
to associate an odor with an electric shock,
去将一种气味和电击联系起来
so whenever the larvae smelled it, they’d move away.
但当幼虫嗅到气味时 他们就会爬走
But even after they transformed into adult moths,
但是甚至在它们成长为蛾子之后
they still avoided the scary smell.
它们仍然会躲避这种吓人的气味
It makes you wonder what else
这让人想去了解
they could recall from their younger days.
它们还能从幼年的时光中回忆起来什么

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“蝶茧”其实不是茧 毛虫是如何变成蝴蝶的? 关于鳞翅目的有趣小知识

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