Wednesday June 11, 2003
what do earwigs look like in the early stages. do the have a larva stage?
Jeffrey A, CA
Earwigs undergo "simple" metamorphosis, also called Gradual metamorphosis, and by this process they emerge from the egg as a miniature of the adult they eventually will become. For insects that undergo simple metamorphosis, such as roaches, termites, crickets, etc., the early stages are referred to as NYMPHS, and each stage between molts of the exoskeleton is an INSTAR, so we speak of the "first instar nymph", second instar nymph, etc. As this miniature earwig develops through its instar stages it eventually begins to develop wing buds, and when it finally molts to the adult stage it will have its fully developed wings (if it is a winged species). Up to that point, though, it is a baby earwig and completely recognizable as an earwig, with pinchers and all the other things in place.
"Larvae" are the immature stages of insects that undergo COMPLETE metamorphosis, whereby the egg hatches to a tiny worm of some sort, this worm goes through its molts to become larger and larger, and finally leaves the worm appearance when it molts to reveal the pupa. Within this pupa the adult insect forms, and the adult of insects that undergo complete metamorphosis look completely different from their larvae. The butterfly does not resemble the caterpillar, the flea adult does not resemble the flea larva, etc. Generally, the families of insects that have complete metamorphosis, such as moths and butterflies, wasps, bees, ants, beetles, and flies, are considered to be more advanced in their evolution.
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