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People were trying to find the rare butterfly, and the young protagonist figured out that the centipedes were the larvae of the butterfly.

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  • Hi, welcome to the site. This is a very short description, though. If you can think of any other details about the novel, please do edit your question to add them. Aug 4, 2022 at 2:10

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I suspect this is either A.M. Lightner's Doctor to the Galaxy or The Space Plague. I know one had to do with butterflies - I read them 45 or so years ago - but info on them online is meagre.

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  • You are spot on with The Space Plague. I was able to look it up online and the cover was exactly as I remembered it, and the description fit. Thanks!
    – Griz
    Aug 4, 2022 at 20:30
  • @Griz If you agree that The Space Plague is the correct answer you should "accept" it by clicking on the "check" sign next to it. It will turn green, cycad will get his reward (15 points, IIRC) you'll get two, and I will vote for your question giving you 10 more. I won't vote for it if you don't formally "accept", by clicking on the check sign, an answer you admit is correct.
    – Alfred
    Aug 7, 2022 at 0:49

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