(redirected from imagoes, imagines)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


1. an adult sexually mature insect produced after metamorphosis
2. Psychoanal an idealized image of another person, usually a parent, acquired in childhood and carried in the unconscious in later life
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the final (definitive) stage of individual development in insects. The characteristic features of the imago are full development of the wings and the presence of genital appendages at the end of the abdomen. In this stage insects migrate and reproduce.

In insects with complete metamorphosis (for example, butterflies, beetles, Hymenoptera, and Diptera), the imago develops from a pupa. In insects with incomplete metamorphosis (Or-thoptera, Dermaptera, Jugatae, and Hemiptera), a larva (nymph) hatches from the ovum, which resembles the imago in the structure of its mouth apparatus and its extremities but which metamorphoses into an imago only after a series of molts.

Insects live in the imago stage from a few days to several years. In some mayflies longevity is measured in hours; in the Psychidae family (of butterflies) in minutes; some beetles—weevils and nocturnal ground beetles—live in the imago stage two to three years; queen bees live up to five years; and female ants up to 15 years.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(invertebrate zoology)
The sexually mature, usually winged stage of insect development.
An unconscious mental picture, usually idealized, of a parent or loved person important in the early development of an individual and carried into adulthood.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.