Mama Bug, Baby Bug

By Ellen Lambeth

How well do you know insects? Test your knowledge with this matching game!

Did anyone ever tell you that you look a lot like your mom or your dad? Well, in the insect world, kids may look nothing at all like their parents.

Let’s see how good you are at matching the adult insects on these two pages with their younger versions on the next two pages.

Tap image for a closer view.
Tap image for a closer view.
Tap image for a closer view.

When a mammal (like you) is born, it comes out looking like a mini adult and then gradually grows into a full-sized one. Insects hatch from eggs. Then they change as they grow up, too. It’s a process called metamorphosis (met-uh-MOR-fuh-suss).

Some insects start life as larvae (LAR-vee). A larva grows for a while and then becomes a pupa (PYOO-puh). An adult later emerges from the pupa. This is complete metamorphosis.

Other insects start life as immatures called nymphs (NIMFS). As a nymph grows, it sheds its skin many times. Then it sheds one last time to become an adult. This is incomplete metamorphosis.

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