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Glossary of biological terms: H

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hemimetabolous (insects). These insects have a simple metamorphosis without a pupal stage. As they grow bigger, the immature forms go through a series of moults and steadily become more like the adult. These immature forms are usually referred to as nymphs. Examples of hemimetabolous insects include dragonflies, cockroaches, termites, grasshoppers, bugs and lice. Other insects have a holometabolous metamorphosis. 

holometabolous (insects). These insects have a complete metamorphosis with a pupal stage. The immature stages, termed larvae, look entirely different to the adults. As they grow bigger, the larvae moult a number of times but each new instar (the stage between two consecutive moults) looks no more similar to the adult than the previous one. At the end of the final instar, the larva moults into a pupa, sometimes first spinning a silken cocoon round itself for protection. In the pupal stage certain larval structures are broken down, and new structures such as wings are produced. Examples of holometabolous insects include beetles, butterflies and moths (larvae are called caterpillars), flies (grub-like larvae are termed maggots) and Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). Other insects have an incomplete or hemimetabolous metamorphosis.

hyperparasite / hyperparasitoid (insects). A parasitoid whose host is another parasitoid.

hypha, pl. hyphae (fungi). A filament or thread of a fungus. A branched network of hyphae is called a mycelium.

text by Hamish Robertson


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