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Incomplete Metamorphosis

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  • Incomplete metamorphosis: a change in body form with three stages: egg, nymph, and adult.
  • Nymph: young stage of insects that undergo a partial metamorphosis; similar to the adult except that wings are not fully developed.

Incomplete Metamorphosis has three stages: Egg, Nymph, and Adult

Grasshopper metamorphosisInsects that go through three stages of change in their life cycle have an incomplete metamorphosis. The first stage is the egg. During this time, the insect will hatch into a form called a nymph.

The nymph is basically a small version of the adult insect. This is very similar to how a child looks like his or her parents. Nymphs usually have a thin exoskeleton and no wings. They eat the same food as their parents and live in the same place.  As insect nymphs grow larger, their exoskeleton becomes too tight and they must replace it.

Once a nymph outgrows its exoskeleton it will go through a process called molting which is to leave the old “skin” or exoskeleton behind. The new “skin” will harden and become the new exoskeleton. This will happen many times until the insect finally becomes an adult.

Insects that have an incomplete metamorphosis life cycle include true bugs, grasshoppers, cockroaches, termites, praying mantises, crickets, and lice.



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