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(1) The series of changes through which an insect passes in its growth from the egg through the larva and pupa to the adult. Defined as complete when the pupa is inactive and does not feed and incomplete when there is no pupa and where the nymph is active and feeds.
(2) Name given to the changes that take place during an insect's life as it turns from a young animal to an adult. These changes may be gradual and not too large, as in the grasshopper, and metamorphosis is then said to be partial or incomplete. On the other hand, the changes may be much greater and they may take place in one big step - as in the butterflies and moths, which change from caterpillars to adults during the pupal stage. Metamorphosis of this kind is said to be complete.