Metamorphosis, Nature's Ultimate Transformer

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Entomologist: name for scientist who studies insects.

Proboscis: a long mouth part found in most insects and some other animals used to suck up food.

How Are Insects Different?

There are many types of insects that can be different in many ways. Some insects have different body parts like a proboscis that is used for feeding or stingers that are used for protection. There are insects that can fly and others that can swim.

proboscises of insects

Examples of insect proboscises - True bug (A), Ant (B) and Honeybee (C).

Time lapse video of a cicada finishing metamorphosis. Video by Dennis McDaniel.

One way in which insects can be different is by the  type of life cycles they have. Some insects will undergo an incomplete metamorphosis and will change from a nymph to an adult.

There are other insects that will go through a complete metamorphosis that has many stages. These insects will start as larvae, which look very different from adults. When they emerge from their pupa, they will be newly formed adults. It is no surprise that entomologists enjoy studying the fascinating world of insects.

Additional images via Wikimedia Commons. Green Hairstreak egg by Gilles San Martin.

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: How Are Insects Different?
  • Author(s): Page Baluch
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: May 30, 2011
  • Date accessed: May 21, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Page Baluch. (2011, May 30). How Are Insects Different?. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved May 21, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Page Baluch. "How Are Insects Different?". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 30 May, 2011.

MLA 2017 Style

Page Baluch. "How Are Insects Different?". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 30 May 2011. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 21 May 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
Green Hairstreak egg

Almost all insects begin their lives as eggs, like this egg laid by a Green Hairstreak butterfly.

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