Dictionary > Incomplete metamorphosis

Incomplete metamorphosis

A partial metamorphosis in insects in which there is no complete physical change in insects, i.e. absence of pupal stage during their development from embryo into adult form.
Incomplete metamorphosis in insects involves going through developmental stages starting from embryo, to nymph and finally to adult. There is no pupal stage. The nymph often resembles the adult in which both of them have compound eyes, developed legs and wing stubs visible on the outside.
Examples of insect groups showing incomplete metamorphosis include:

  • Hemiptera (scale insects, aphids, whitefly, cicadas, leafhoppers and true bugs)
  • Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets)
  • Mantodea (praying mantises)
  • Blattaria (cockroaches)
  • Dermaptera (earwigs)
  • Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies).

Word origin: Latin metamorphōsis, from Greek, from metamorphoun, to transform : meta-, meta- + morphē, form.
Synonym: hemimetabolism, hemimetaboly, hemimetamorphosis.

Compare: complete metamorphosis.

See also: metamorphosis.

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