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Without Metamorphosis
Some insects, such as the silverfish, develop without metamorpaosis. Growth is by a series of successive molts. Each instar looks just like the one before it, and the adult looks just like the young except for an increase in size. Food and habits of the young and the adults are alike. However, the adults are sexually mature, where as the young are not.

Collembola – Spring Tails
They are wingless, very small 1/5 inch long insects. There is usually a springlike projection from the underside of the abdomen, which distinguishes this order from all the others. They are found in houses, although they are most common outdoors. Collembola feed on algae, fungi, and decaying vegetable matter.  Their eggs are found in damp places such as cork insulation, kitchens and bathrooms, and around drains.

Diplura – Campodeids
Usually found in soil and leaf litter, under bark or under stones and logs.  They tend to lay their eggs in the soil and feed on decaying matter or small insects.

Proturans - Proturans
These occur in moist soil, moss, leaf mold, under bark and rotting wood. They are rather rare and are very infrequently collected. Both adults and immature feed feed on organic matter released by decay. They are part of the community of decompposers that help break down and recycle organic nutrients in the soil.

Thysanura – Silverfish
These are wingless, flattened, fish-shaped insects, usually not more than 1/2 inch long.  They have long antennae and two or three thread like appendages at the end of the abdomen.  Silverfish may be found almost anywhere in a house.  However, they usually are found living close to their source of food.  They eat wide variety of foods containing protein or carbohydrates.  They may also leave yellow stains, especially on linens.  Eggs are laid on baseboard, and hatch in 20-40 days depending on temperature.

Anoplura - Sucking Lice, True Lice
These small insects are wingless and flat bodied. The head is distinctly narrower than the thorax. Mouthparts are adapted for piercing the skin and sucking blood. They are external parasites on mammals. The adylt female attaches eggs to the hair of the host, and both the immature and the adults suck blood from the host.

Dermaptera - Earwigs
Earwigs are insects that are readily recognized by the pincers or forcepslike appendages at the end of the abdomen. They are scavengers on dead animal and plant material, and are attracted to lights. Earwigs will build up in foundations similar to those already discussed for centipedes, millipedes and crickets.

Gradual Metamorphosis
Cockroaches, termites, grasshoppers, bed bugs, and earwigs have a gradual metamorphosis and three distinct stages in their development; egg, nymph (with several instars), and adult.  In gradual metamorphosis, the young (nymphs) resemble the adults in the general form of their body, in their manner of living, and their food preference.  The change in the appearance of the body is very gradual between instars.  In insects where wings are present, they occur fully developed only in the last stage; the adult.

Dictyoptera - Cockroaches
The cockroach is vulnerable to control at any time in its life cycle. The female will lay her eggs just about anywhere, but they do prefer moisture. They leave a sticky black residue on corners of furniture, cabinets and sinks.

Morphological Characters (see above)

  • Front wings hardened or leathery at base, with numerous veins, overlapping over abdomen when at rest.
  • Hind wings usually folded fanwise at rest
  • Antennae more than 12 segments
  • Mouth parts mandibulate

Complete Metamorphosis
Beetles, moths, butterflies, flies, fleas, ants bees and wasps have a complete metemorphosis cycle. As the young of these insects emerge from the egg, they have an entirely different from than the adult. They also usually live in different situations and feed on different foods than do the adults. In complete metamorphosis, there are four clearly defined stages: egg, larva (with several instars), pupa and adult.

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