A pupa (Latin pupa for doll, pl: pupae or pupas) is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. The pupal stage is found only in holometabolous insects, those that undergo a complete metamorphosis, going through four life stages; embryo, larva, pupa and imago. (For a list of such insects see Holometabolism). The pupae of different groups of insects have different names such as chrysalis in the Lepidoptera order and tumbler in the mosquito family. Pupae may further be enclosed in other structures such as cocoons, nests or shells. In the life of an insect the pupal stage follows the larval stage and precedes adulthood (imago). It is during the time of pupation that the adult structures of the insect are formed while the larval structures are broken down. Pupae are inactive, and usually sessile (not able to move about). They have a hard protective coating and often use camouflage to evade potential predators. Pupation may last weeks, months or even years.
Contributions by Apokryltaros, Pro bug catcher, and Shyamal.