University of Manchester

inside Life

Insects are a large group with highly varied developmental processes.

Studies of insects have greatly increased our understanding of our own animal development. Traditional methods of study, such as histology and dissection, which can preclude quantitative analysis, do not allow the development of a single individual to be followed.

Here we use high resolution computed tomography to overcome these issues to image the pupae throughout their development in 3D over 16 days. X-ray computed tomography provides new insights and details of the metamorphosis process that have never been previously observed.


Lowe, T., R.J. Garwood, T.J. Simonsen, R.S. Bradley, and P.J. Withers, Metamorphosis revealed: time-lapse three-dimensional imaging inside a living chrysalis (2013). Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 10(84) DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2013.0304.