I'm making an app which allows the user to report insect observations. Many bugs may exist in different forms throughout their life time. For example, a butterfly will exist as an egg, a catterpillar, a pupa and lastly as a butterfly. A greenshield bug can live as a nymph and then as an adult.

I want to make one list that contains all morphological stages that insects can be in. Then the user can select the appropriate one for the species he or she observed. My question is: What are the names of these stages? Are there any other stages next to the egg stage, caterpillar/larval stage etc?

Thank you


2 Answers 2


This process is refereed to as Metamorphosis, is a biological process by which an animal physically develops. Furthermore, Animals can be divided into species that undergo complete metamorphosis ("holometaboly"), incomplete metamorphosis ("hemimetaboly"), or no metamorphosis ("ametaboly").

Otherwise there is the process known as Holometabolism, which more specifically pertains to insect development. This process defines almost all the types of insect development.

Others include: Ametabolism and Hemimetabolism.

  • $\begingroup$ can a nymph also be considered a holomatebolic stage? $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Aug 5, 2020 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ A nymph is the immature form of some invertebrates, particularly insects, which undergoes gradual metamorphosis (hemimetabolism). So unfortunately no. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Aug 5, 2020 at 12:50

The stages are called instars:


It changes depending on the insect: it can be caterpillar, grub, maggot, 2nd instar, 3rd instar, larval stage, larva, eruciform, scarabaeiform, campodeiform. Here are some pages:



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