Complete metamorphosis

Complete metamorphosis is one of two types of metamorphosis exhibited by insects. In complete metamorphosis an insect goes through four distinct stages:

  1. Egg
  2. Larva
  3. Pupa
  4. Imago

The larva and imago are very different in appearance and often feed on completely different food sources (so adult and young do not compete for food).

The imago lays eggs, the eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae feed and moult several times before pupating. Whilst pupating the tissues of the larvae break down and then reform into the adult insect. The adult insect then emerges from the pupa.

A photograph of the pupae of the Rose chafer (_Cetonia aurata_).

A photograph of the pupae of the Rose chafer (Cetonia aurata).

Other names for (or types of) Complete metamorphosis include:

Related terms

Related groups of terms

Related pages on this web site

See other words beginning with C

Browse terms by A-Z

Back to Glossary

If you have found this glossary useful please consider supporting the Amateur Entomologists' Society by becoming a member or making a donation.