Dictionary > Complete metamorphosis

Complete metamorphosis

Definition
noun
(entomology)
A kind of metamorphosis in which insects undergo complete physical change, i.e. developing and going through four life stages: embryo, larva, pupa and imago.
Supplement
For example, in the life cycle of a butterfly, the embryo grows within the egg, hatching into the larval stage caterpillar, before entering the pupal stage within its chrysalis and finally emerging as an adult butterfly imago.
Examples of insect groups showing complete metamorphosis include:

  • Coleoptera – Beetles
  • Diptera – Flies
  • Hymenoptera – Ants, bees, sawflies and wasps
  • Lepidoptera – Butterflies and moths
  • Mecoptera – Scorpionflies
  • Megaloptera – Alderflies, dobsonflies and fishflies
  • Miomoptera (extinct)
  • Neuroptera – Lacewings, antlions, etc.
  • Protodiptera (extinct)
  • Raphidioptera – Snakeflies
  • Siphonaptera – Fleas
  • Strepsiptera – Twisted-winged parasites
  • Trichoptera – Caddisflies

Word origin: Latin metamorphōsis, from Greek, from metamorphoun, to transform: meta-, meta- + morphē, form.
Synonym: holometabolism, holometaboly.

Compare: incomplete metamorphosis.

See also: metamorphosis.


You will also like...

Genetic engineering
Genetic Engineering Advantages & Disadvantages

This tutorial presents the benefits and the possible adverse eventualities of genetic engineering. Know more about this ..

Hominid
The Hominids

The hominid family diversified from the apes around 6 to 8 million years ago. Since then, the evolutionary path has prov..

"Cronopio dentiacutus", a prehistoric mammal (an illustration)
Mammalian Ancestors

Mammals are a diverse group of organisms, where most of them develop their offspring within the uterus of the mother. Ov..

Peppered moth ("Biston betularia") melanic and light form
Examples of Natural Selection

Darwin's Finches are an example of natural selection in action. They are an excellent example of the way species' gene p..

Cambial cells
Plant Tissues

Plant organs are comprised of tissues working together for a common function. The different types of plant tissues are m..

Still freshwater and plants
Still Freshwater & Plants

Plants in lentic habitats have features not found in terrestrial plants. They acquired these features as they adapt to t..