“A lot of insects like butterflies and mosquitos go through a life cycle with several distinct stages.”
You're talking to a child. You've found a butterfly together. You're explaining how butterflies and caterpillars are related to each other.
A lot of insects like butterflies and mosquitos go through a life cycle with several distinct stages.
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"Insects" are also known as "bugs". They include spiders, ants, beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, mosquitos, flies, and thousands of others.
stages in a cycle
A "cycle" is a repeating set of situations. For example, you wake up and go to sleep every day. This is your "sleep cycle".
One part of a cycle is called a "stage". Deep sleep is one stage in your sleep cycle, for example.
"Distinct" stages are stages which are very different from each other. It's easy to tell when one stage starts and the next one begins.
An example of this is childhood and adolescence. Being a child and being a teenager are "distinct stages" in a person's life.