Butterflies remember caterpillar experiences. Am I the only one who finds this ridiculously evocative? Imagine what it would be like to have memories of being an entirely different creature. I wonder if they’re dim or vivid. Are butterflies self-aware? I sort of hope not, since the tests that brought this discovery to light are somewhat unpleasant.
Tobacco hornworm moths (Manduca sexta) revealed that they could remember pain stimuli they had experienced as a caterpillar
So I guess the question is, what sort of memories does the butterfly have? An instinct-like aversion? A Pavlovian response to the negative stimuli? Or does the butterfly remember how, as a caterpillar, it learned a trick, and if it tries really hard, it can still do it?