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In Biology, metamorphosis represents a profound change in form from one stage of life to another. There are two types of metamorphosis that insects go through, either complete or incomplete. In a complete metamorphosis, an insect goes through all four separate life stages. In incomplete metamorphosis, change is gradual and insects do not go through the pupa stage.
The word “metamorphosis” derives from Greek μεταμόρφωσις, meaning “transformation” or “transforming”. The egg marks the first stage of an insect’s metamorphosis. Different types of insects begin their life cycle with different types of eggs.
Insects going through their immature stage are called larvae, and differ greatly from the adults.
Insects then enter an inactive state called pupa, or chrysalis. Whilst inside the pupa, the insect will excrete digestive juices, to destroy much of the larva’s body, leaving a few cells intact.
In the final stage of the metamorphosis, the insect finally breaks through the pupa emerging as a full adult. After this happens, the insect begins using their new body parts, unfolding their wings, and stretchging their legs and becoming part of the world.
Fun Fact: Insects do not have a nose. Insects breathe through openings in the exoskeleton called spiracles.