The majestic monarch goes through four stages in its life cycle --- egg, caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa) and adult butterfly. Insects that go through four stages have what is called complete metamorphosis.
However, not all insects go through all four stages in their life cycle; some only go through three, called incomplete metamorphosis. Let's take a look at three insects that transform "incompletely."
A male and female dragonfly mate while flying, and then the female will lay eggs on a plant in the water or just into the water itself.
When a dragonfly hatches, it is called a nymph. They live in the water while they grow and develop. Dragonflies can stay in this stage up to four years. If the nymph cycle is completed in wintertime, it will stay in the water until spring when it is warm enough to come out. When a nymph dragonfly crawls from the water, it will shed its skin and become an adult.
Adult dragonflies live about two months.
Cricket eggs are usually laid in the soil. Field cricket eggs hatch in the spring, usually in May.
A newly hatched cricket is called a nymph, and it will burrow to the surface of the soil it was laid in. The cricket will molt eight-10 times over the next two-three months.
The cricket will grow wings as it transforms into an adult. Field crickets are black or dark brown and grow to about 1 inch in length.
After mating, female cicadas slice into twigs 1/4- to 1//2-inch in diameter and deposit their eggs. Females can lay up to 400 eggs in 40-50 sites, and the eggs hatch after six-10 weeks.
Following hatching, the nymphs fall to the ground and burrow in the soil to feed. In periodical cicadas, the nymph stage can last up to 17 years before they emerge from the ground.
When the nymph is full-grown and the temperature is warm, it tunnels to the surface and molts one more time before becoming a winged adult.
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A few more weeks and the monarch butterflies that are overwintering in Mexico will start making their way north. Once coming out of hibernation, a female monarch will find a male with which to reproduce. Around the Texas/Mexico border, the female monarch will find milkweed plants on which to lay her eggs. She can lay…Read More