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Last updated about 4 years ago

A pupa (plural: pupae) is a stage in the life cycle of insects that undergo complete metamorphosis. In these insects the early instars (larvae) look very different, have different habits and diets, and often live in different habitats than the adults (imagos). During the pupal stage, the individual undergoes dramatic changes in body shape (metamorphosis), including the development of wings and genitalia, and often a complete rebuilding of the mouthparts. During the pupal stage, the insect does not feed, and in many groups the pupa does not move. Once the transformation from larva to adult is complete, the image emerges from the pupal skin (eclosion)

Insects that undergo complete metamorphosis belong to the group Endopterygota (also called Holometabola). It includes beetles, wasps, bees, and ants, moths and butterflies, and flies, and a number of smaller insect orders.

collection icon: Chrysalis of cloudless sulphur butterfly (Phoebis sennae) by Marshal Hedin