Hemimetabolous and holometabolous metamorphosis are two types of insect development. Hemimetabolous means that the insect changes gradually, as it does during molting. Holometabolism means that the insect undergoes a complete transformation into an adult, which includes a pupal stage.
Both types of metamorphosis occur during an insects’ life cycle, but there are differences in the length of time they take as well as the type of changes that occur within the individual insect.
Hemimetabolous metamorphosis is a type of insect development that occurs throughout a single lifetime and does not include a pupal stage. During this type of transformation, insects go through gradual changes as they mature from egg to adult form. In contrast, holometabolous metamorphosis occurs over two or more life stages, including an embryonic stage (egg) and a pupal stage (cocoon). This type of development is most commonly seen in butterflies and moths, but also occurs in other insects such as beetles and flies.
In hemimetabolous metamorphosis, the young insect does not resemble its adult counterpart during any stage of development. The immature stages of an insect do not undergo any changes that make them look like their adult forms until they reach adulthood.
In contrast, holometabolous metamorphosis involves four distinct life stages: egg, larva (or nymph), pupa (or chrysalis), and adult form (or imago). The larva has a different appearance than the adult form does because it has a different diet at this stage of life compared to when it is an adult insect.