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complete metamorphosis

insect development in which egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages occur, each differing greatly in morphology.
Origin of complete metamorphosis
First recorded in 1840-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for complete metamorphosis
Historical Examples
  • The dragon-fly is another insect with a complete metamorphosis.

  • The insects we have mentioned are those with a "complete metamorphosis."

    Our Common Insects Alpheus Spring Packard
  • In these few minutes he seems to have undergone a complete metamorphosis.


    William J. Robinson
  • The ants are nearly allied to the bees, and also have a complete metamorphosis.

  • This little creature is noted for its complete metamorphosis.

  • They undergo a complete metamorphosis (fig. 70) and their larv are the familiar caterpillars of garden and field.

  • All Hymenoptera have a complete metamorphosis, and their habits and instincts are, as a rule, very highly specialized.

  • By this time Mr. Sonneschein's hesitant and countrified customer had undergone a complete metamorphosis.

    The Price Francis Lynde
  • The mode of reproduction is oviparous, accompanied by a subsequent and complete metamorphosis.

    Parasites T. Spencer Cobbold
  • It is curious, how at night, especially when the moon is visible, the landscape seems to undergo a complete metamorphosis.

    Byways of Ghost-Land Elliott O'Donnell

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