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From Ancient Greek ἔξω (éxō, outside) + πτερόν (pterón, wing) + New Latin -ota (having), reflecting the fact that the nymphs (larvae) of winged species bear their wing rudiments externally; compare Endopterygota.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A taxonomic superorder within the infraclass Neoptera – various winged insects that undergo incomplete metamorphosis.

Usage notes[edit]

Not commonly used.

The Exopterygota differ from the Endopterygota in that they generally undergo an "incomplete" metamorphosis. Their life cycle typically lacks a clearly defined pupal phase. In winged species the nymphs (larvae) generally bear external wing rudiments, which immature members of the Endopterygota do not.

The Exopterygota life cycle is: egglarva or nymphadult or imago. The transformation from larva to adult is gradual and proceeds by moulting.

For comparison, the complete metamorphosic life cycle is: egglarvapupaadult or imago.



See also[edit]