What is Metamorphosis?

May 10, 2016

What is Metamorphosis?

What is Metamorphosis?

If you have been living for any amount of time the chances are you have heard the term “Metamorphosis” mentioned in one way or another. A simple definition is that the term means a major change in the appearance of something or someone. But the biological definition is usually applicable to insects or animals. And that is that there is a major change in form and structure as the animal changes from a juvenile to an adult.

Perhaps the best know example is when the creepy, crawly caterpillar turns into the beautiful butterfly. There is no question about the drastic change in form and structure when this happens. Or what about the little tadpole that becomes a frog?

For the butterfly metamorphosis has four stages.

  • The first stage - The egg stage. The egg develops into a caterpillar which becomes a sluggish eating machine
  • Second Stage – It continues growing and shedding its skin four or five times
  • Third Stage – Once the caterpillar reaches full growth he forms a Chrysalis (called a cocoon in moths)
  • Fourth stage – Once the last stage is complete out flies a beautiful butterfly

Of course this is an example of Metamorphosis in its most simple form but it is still a good example of how it works and what it means. So the next time you see that caterpillar in your garden or that colorful butterfly darting from flower to flower don’t forget that they are related and there would not be one without the other.

Learn more about the secret life of insects by reading our daily blog page at https://www.bugsdirect.com/blogs/entomology

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