In biology, the imago (Latin for "image") is the last stage an insect attains during its metamorphosis, its process of growth and development; it is also called the imaginal stage, the stage in which the insect attains maturity. It follows the final ecdysis of the immature instars.
In a member of the Ametabola or Hemimetabola, in which metamorphosis is "incomplete", the final ecdysis follows the last immature or nymphal stage. In members of the Holometabola, in which there is a pupal stage, the final ecdysis follows emergence from the pupa, after which the metamorphosis is complete, although there is a prolonged period of maturation in some species.
Members of the order Ephemeroptera (mayflies) do not have a pupal stage, but they briefly pass through an extra winged stage called the subimago. Insects at this stage have functional wings but are not yet sexually mature.
|Look up imago in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|