My late great grandfather was a torah scholar, but with all his learning, he never knew that a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly. He was amazed when someone told him about the common phenomenon. My question is, is this metamorphosis ever mentioned in torah literature, be it Tanach, Chazal, Rishonim, or Acharonim?
Iyov (27:18) discusses the ephemeral nature of a wicked person's success:
בָּנָה כָעָשׁ בֵּיתוֹ וּכְסֻכָּה עָשָׂה נֹצֵר
He buildeth his house as a moth,1 and as a booth which the keeper maketh.
כמו שהעש בעת שמתעטף במעטפה שזה ביתו, ואחר שיוצא מן המעטפה את ביתו ישא רוח
Just as the moth, when it wraps itself in the chrysalis that becomes its home, afterwards, when it emerges from the chrysalis, its home is blown away by the wind....
1 Likely, the word עָשׁ in Biblical usage can apply to the entire order Lepidoptera.