A pupa is an immature insect, in the stage of development just before adulthood. A butterfly or moth pupa is known as a "chrysalis."

Some kinds of insects go through dramatic, distinct stages as they grow, otherwise known as metamorphosis. For these insects, the egg and larval stages are followed by a period of time as a pupa that can last weeks, or even years, depending on the insect species and what the temperature is. At the end of their time as a pupa, insects break open their shell or case and emerge, fully grown.

Definitions of pupa
  1. noun
    an insect in the inactive stage of development (when it is not feeding) intermediate between larva and adult
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    pupa of a moth or butterfly enclosed in a cocoon
    type of:
    small air-breathing arthropod
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