One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of an insect pupa or chrysalis) covered in a hard case with the legs and wings attached immovably against the body.
- ‘The obtect pupa of butterflies is a common example.’
- ‘T.A. Chapman has shown (1893) that the completely obtect pupa characterises the more highly developed families of Lepidoptera.’
Late 19th century: from Latin obtectus, past participle of obtegere ‘cover over’.
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