The Mopani (Gonimbrasia belina) is a moth found in large parts of Southern Africa. But before it metamorphs into a moth, it is a big fat worm known as the Mopane worm (Mashonja or Phane in Botswana) and it is an important source of protein for millions of indigenous Africans. They eat a variety of vegetation, including the Mopane tree, which is what the little critter on this coin is fattening up on.
How to harvest a mopane worm: 1. Hand pick the worms in the wild. 2. Pinch the tail end to rupture the innards. 3. Squeeze it like a tube of toothpaste then crack it like a mini whip to expel the green slimy contents of the gut. Because ewww! You don't want to eat the gut goo! They can then be dried and eaten as a crunchy snack, or cooked up with tomatoes and onions. (Note: Most people in Botswana don't eat the head, so you shouldn't either.)
In 2013 Botswana replaced all seven of its circulating coins. The 5 pula kept the same design, but became quite a bit larger.
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