Nymph (biology)

In biology, a nymph is the immature form of some invertebrates, particularly insects, which undergoes gradual metamorphosis (hemimetabolism) before reaching its adult stage.[1] Unlike a typical larva, a nymph's overall form already resembles that of the adult, except for a lack of wings (in winged species). In addition, while a nymph moults it never enters a pupal stage. Instead, the final moult results in an adult insect.[2] Nymphs undergo multiple stages of development called instars.

This is the case, for example, in Orthoptera (crickets and grasshoppers), Hemiptera (cicadas, shield bugs, etc.), mayflies, termites, cockroaches, mantises, stoneflies and Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies).[3]

Nymphs of aquatic insects, as in the Odonata, Ephemeroptera, and Plecoptera, are also called naiads, an Ancient Greek name for mythological water nymphs. In older literature, these were sometimes referred to as the heterometabolous insects, as their adult and immature stages live in different environments (terrestrial vs. aquatic).

Schistocerca gregaria (21530461886)
Two Schistocerca gregaria nymphs beside an adult

Relationship with humans

In fly fishing with artificial flies, this stage of aquatic insects is the basis for an entire series of representative patterns for trout.[4] They account for over half of the over all patterns regularly fished in the United States.

See also


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Entomology Ed. John L. Capinera. Dordrecht, London, Springer. 2008, 2nd Ed. ISBN 978-1-4020-6242-1 (Print) 978-1-4020-6359-6 (Online)
  2. ^ Truman, James (1999). The origins of insect metamorphosis. Washington: Macmillan Magazines Ltd. p. 447. Archived from the original on 2014-01-31.
  3. ^ Britton, David (9 July 2009). "Metamorphosis: a remarkable change". Australian Museum. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  4. ^ Austin, Matthew (2004). "Nymph patterns of flies". San Diego: theflystop.com.
Nymph (disambiguation)

In Greek mythology, a nymph (Ancient Greek: νύμφη) is a female nature-spirit.

Nymph may also mean:

Nymph (biology), the immature form of an insect having incomplete metamorphosis

Nymph (fishing), a lure that imitates the insect life-stage

HMS Nymph, a Royal Navy sloop launched in 1778

USS Nymph (1863), a Union Navy steamer in the American Civil War

BN-3 Nymph, original name of the NAC Freelance airplane

The Nymphs (poem), by Leigh Hunt, published in 1818

Nymph (Central Figure for "The Three Graces"), a bronze sculpture in Washington, D.C.

The Nymphs, a 1990s US-American alternative rock band

The Nymphs (album), released in 1991

The Nymph (Ninfa plebea), a 1996 Italian film directed by Lina Wertmüller

Nymph (1973 film), a 1973 American film

Nymph (2009 film), a 2009 Thai film

Nymphs (Finnish TV series), a 2013 Finnish TV series

Nymph, the "Beta Angeloid: Electronic Warfare Type" in the anime Sora no Otoshimono

Nymph (Dungeons & Dragons), a monster in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game

Nymph, Alabama, a populated place in Conecuh County, Alabama


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