Difference between Larva and Pupa

An Overview

The larva and pupa are the two different developmental stages of an insect. The larva is called the first or the primary stage of an insect life cycle, later followed by a pupal stage.

The larva is a worm-like creature, which emerges from an egg. As the egg hatches, the larval stage begins. Therefore, the larvae are also considered as a young or a baby insect. The body of the larva is covered by a thin cuticle.

The stage in which the caterpillar forms a vessel around it is called the ‘pupa’. The pupa is an inactive and motionless or a transformative stage that occurs after the larval stage.

Both the larva and the pupa stage are collectively defined as complete metamorphosis in insects.

Also Refer: The Life Cycle of Butterfly

Let’s learn about the differences between Larva and Pupa:

Larva and Pupa- Differences

Initial Stage
The larva is formed from an egg. The pupa is formed from the larva.
The larva is more active. The pupa is less active.
Body features
The larva comprises the distinct head and continuous thorax and abdomen. The pupa comprises cephalothoraxes, which are formed by the fusion of head and thorax.
The larva feeds on vegetation and moults. There is no feeding in the pupal stage.
Growth is found in the larval stage. No growth is found in the pupal stage.
In the larval stage, there is a presence of active moments. The pupal stage is an inactive and motionless stage.
Complete metamorphosis
The larva is followed by the pupa The pupa is followed by the adult stage.

Also, Refer: Difference Between Butterfly and Caterpillar

This concludes some of the basic differences between larva and pupa. Stay tuned with BYJU’S Biology for more differences and other Biology related topics.

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