- Like all other arthropods, insects cannot grow continuously because the
restriction of their hard exoskeleton. Instead they grow via a series of moults,
they will increase in size and change of appearance. Basically there are three
different ways in which insects develop into adult stage.
- Katydid's last moulting - turning from nymph to adult.
- Ametabolous, the egg hatch into small insect, then the small
insect, after moulting, turns into a larger insect. The insect look no
different in every stages. Some wingless insect, such as silverfish is develop
in this way. They are known as 'complete' and 'in-complete' life cycle.
Gradual metamorphosis, also known as in-complete metamorphosis.
and bugs develop with in-complete life cycle. Their young, usually called
nymphs, look similar to the adults but with no wings. They share the same
habitat, the same food and same lifestyle. Their wings develop externally.
So we can see their wing buds and it increase in size after every moults.
Details of in-complete metamorphosis of this bug are shown in this page.
Abrupt metamorphosis, also known as complete metamorphosis. Beetles,
flies. butterflies, moths and wasps develop with complete life cycle. Their
young look very different from the adults. When they just come out form eggs,
they may called maggot, caterpillars, grubs or commonly called larva. Their life
style is very different from their adults. Just before they become an adult,
they will enter a stationary state. Then their body is completely transformed
into a different shape. Their wings develop internally. Their different stages
target at different function. The larva stage is mainly focus on eating and
growing. The pupa stage is for transformation and the adult aims at
reproduction. For details of insects complete life cycle please visit this page.
Why Abrupt metamorphosis?
- So that adults and larvae can divide their tasks more preciously. Larvae
have their body shape aim better at feeding and avoid predator. Adults have
better body shape to find mate and reproduce.
- We noticed that some insects become more utilize their wings. Most Abrupt metamorphosis
insects help their young in locating their food source. Some Abrupt metamorphosis
insect larvae loss most of their locomotive capacity, only can move in a very
limited area for feeding. It is because the wings of their adults are much more
efficient to locate the food.
- Wings are the very powerful tool of insects. Wings are the very expensive
tools too. Some insects extends it function to locate the food for their
- We have more discussions on this in the Conflicts
Between Insects Adults and Larvae page.
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