Difference between Ametabolous and Hemimetabolous

Ametabolous

It refers to insects that show ametabolism. It is a type of growth cycle where the insect shows little or no metamorphosis. Ametabolous insects gradually increase in size. It mostly includes primitive insects that are wingless. Examples – silverfish, springtails, etc.

These insects hatch from their eggs and directly form miniature adults. They undergo several gradual changes or moltings to become mature adults.

Hemimetabolous

It refers to insects that show incomplete metamorphosis or hemimetabolism. Their life cycle includes egg, nymph, imago or adult. The pupal stage is absent. The nymphs or naiads undergo gradual metamorphism and turn into adults. There are many hemimetabolous insects like grasshoppers, praying mantises, mayflies, damselflies, etc.

Here, the nymphs gradually develop mouthparts, legs, antennae and appendages to become adults.

Difference between Ametabolous and Hemimetabolous

Ametabolous

Hemimetabolous

Here, the eggs directly turn into miniature adults.

Here, the eggs develop into nymphs and then adults. The pupal stage is absent.

No metamorphism.

Incomplete metamorphism.

Examples – Primitive insects like springtails and silverfish.

Examples – true bugs, grasshoppers, praying mantises, mayflies, damselflies, etc.

Explore: Difference between Larva and Pupa

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Ametabolous and Hemimetabolous

What is holometabolism?

It refers to insects showing complete metamorphism. They include all four stages, namely – egg, larva, pupa and adult or imago. The majority of the insects are holometabolous. Examples – wasp, butterflies, bees and moths.

What is paurometabolism?

In most hemimetabolous insects, the nymphs occupy water bodies, and the adults are terrestrial. Paurometabolism refers to those insects whose naiads or nymphs are seen in the same environment as that of their mature adults. The insects, belonging to the Gerridae family of order Hemiptera, show paurometabolism.

What is moulting?

It is shedding or ecdysis in many invertebrates. Here, it refers to a manner in which an insect sheds its exoskeleton. This usually occurs during the larval stage. This moulting process can transform the larvae into reproductive adults with wings. The developmental stage between each moult and its sexually mature adult is termed as an instar.

Also Read: Insect Life Cycle

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