Definition of instar in English:


Line breaks: in¦star
Pronunciation: /ˈɪnstɑː


  • A phase between two periods of moulting in the development of an insect larva or other invertebrate animal.
    More example sentences
    • When the eggs hatch, the caterpillar enters the first instar (stage of development).
    • After the second moult, larvae preyed only on the first-instar nymphs of Libyaspis, while the larvae of later instars preyed on nymphs of a wide range of sizes.
    • The larval stage consists of four phases, or instars, with a complete molt between each instar.


late 19th century: from Latin, literally 'form, likeness'.

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