One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In certain holometabolous insects (e.g. sawflies): an individual in a distinct larval or prepupal stage in which larval tissue is broken down and adult tissues begin to be formed within the larval cuticle.
2In hemimetabolous insects: an individual in the stage of late embryonic development immediately preceding the moult into the first nymphal instar, which in some groups (e.g. dragonflies) persists for a brief period after hatching from the egg.
Late 19th century. From pro- + nymph.
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