Imago (zoology)


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The imago ( plural imagines ; 'picture') is the sexually mature insect that emerged from the youthful stages , the adult form ( adultus ). The adult animal is thought of as the "image of the species". Occasionally, there is also the German names Vollkerf and full insect .

The insects with complete metamorphosis ( holometabolic insects ) are the stage of life after the larval period and the pupal rest . About the pupal example of a Engerling a finished beetles , from a caterpillar a butterfly . The adults no longer shed their skin and can therefore no longer grow.

In the case of insects with incomplete metamorphosis ( hemimetabolic insects ), this is also understood to be the last stage of life in which the insect has fully developed sexual apparatus. Also in winged species only the imago has fully developed wings. In general, the insect no longer grows, only the abdomen of egg-producing females often increases in size and girth.

The imago is responsible for reproduction . Some species only use their previously acquired energy reserves and lose the ability to eat by reducing their mouthparts , while others continue to eat. In many species the adults die soon after reproduction: after mating, the males; after oviposition - often only after several times - the females.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rüdiger Wehner , Walter Gehring : Zoologie. 23rd edition. Thieme, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-13-367423-4 .
  2. ^ Ulrich Lehmann : Paleontological Dictionary . 4th edition. Ferdinand Enke Verlag, Stuttgart, 1996. p. 114.
  3. Adolf Remane , Volker Storch , Ulrich Welsch : Kurzes Lehrbuch der Zoologie . Stuttgart and New York: Fischer, 1989, ISBN 3-334-00333-7 .