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pluralpu·pae\-(ˌ)pē also -ˌpī\orpupas
Definition of PUPA
: an intermediate usually quiescent stage of a metamorphic insect (as a bee, moth, or beetle) that occurs between the larva and the imago, is usually enclosed in a cocoon or protective covering, and undergoes internal changes by which larval structures are replaced by those typical of the imago
: an intermediate usually quiescent stage of an insect that occurs between the larva and the imago in forms (as a bee, moth, or beetle) which undergo complete metamorphosis and that is characterized by internal changes by which larval structures are replaced by those typical of the imago
Inactive, nonfeeding stage in the life of insects that undergo complete metamorphosis. In a protective covering (cocoon or chrysalis), the larva is transformed into an adult. During pupation, a process controlled by hormones, larval structures break down and adult structures form; wings appear for the first time. The adult emerges either by splitting the pupal skin and chewing its way out or by secreting a fluid that softens the cocoon.