Imago

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For other uses, see Imago (disambiguation).
Last molting of a cicada giving rise to the winged imago

In biology, the imago is the last stage an insect attains during its metamorphosis, its process of growth and development; it also is called the imaginal stage, the stage in which the insect attains maturity. It follows the final ecdysis of the immature instars.[1]

In a member of the Ametabola or Hemimetabola, in which metamorphosis is "incomplete", the final ecdysis follows the last immature or nymphal stage. In members of the Holometabola, in which there is a pupal stage, the final ecdysis follows emergence from the pupa, after which the metamorphosis is complete, although there is a prolonged period of maturation in some species.[2]

The imago is the only stage during which the insect is sexually mature and, if it is a winged species, has functional wings. The imago often is referred to as the adult stage.[1]

Members of the order Ephemeroptera (mayflies) do not have a pupal stage, but they briefly pass through an extra winged stage called the subimago. Insects at this stage have functional wings but are not yet sexually mature.[1]

The Latin plural of imago is imagines, and this is the term generally used by entomologists – however, imagoes is also acceptable.[3]

Etymology[edit]

Imago is Latin for "image".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Carpenter, Geo. H., The Life-Story of Insects. Cambridge University Press 1913. May be downloaded from: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/16410 or http://archive.org/details/thelifestoryofin16410gut
  2. ^ Richards, O. W.; Davies, R.G. (1977). Imms' General Textbook of Entomology: Volume 1: Structure, Physiology and Development Volume 2: Classification and Biology. Berlin: Springer. ISBN 0-412-61390-5. 
  3. ^ Gordh, Gordon; Headrick, David H. A Dictionary of Entomology. Publisher: CABI 2010. ISBN 978-1845935429