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Many insects go through four stages of growth. The changes that occur in their life cycle are called a metamorphoses. Look up the word metamorphosis on the on-line dictionary!


What did you find?

These are the four stages of growth.

Choose the first stage.

Choose the second stage.

Choose the third stage

Choose the fourth stage.



How is your new pet? It is a mealworm. It's in the larval stage of grain beetles.

The life cycle begins with white oval shaped eggs that are about 1 mm long.

Take out your ruler and measure.

Show how long an egg is on this ruler by making a dot on your ruler.




The eggs usually hatch in about one week. After hatching the mealworms are very hungry!

Can you guess what they like to eat?


They eat and eat and eat! Can you guess what happens? 


They are in the larva stage for about two weeks. During this time the larva sheds its skin.

 About how many times will the larva molt until it is a pupa?



After the larva stage is the pupa stage that lasts about 1 to 3 weeks. Some larva change faster than others. Your pet is very tired now, but has many changes ahead! Your pet might look like it's resting while it transforms into the adult beetle. It looks like it's resting because the pupa doesn't move at all, but inside, the larva is changing completely!

Finally your mealworm will come out of its pupa case! It comes out white then turns brown, and finally turns black. The adult has wings. Do you think it can fly?

In what stage does your pet look like a typical insect with six legs and wings?


Watch the insect go through many changes!


Bonus question:

Can you think of any other animals or insects that go through the molting process?


Bonus question:

Can you think of any other animals or insects that go through a metamorphosis?


Hint: Think about Alphonse.


 Please print this page when you are finished and turn it in to your teacher.





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Date Last Modified: 8/16/99