How do insects survive the long, cold winter? In several different ways!
Some Overwinter as Eggs
Praying mantids spend the winter as eggs, waiting for the warmer spring temperatures to hatch. Both the native Carolina Praying Mantis and the Chinese Praying mantis are found in Illinois.
Some Overwinter as Larvae
Woolly bear caterpillars, the larval form of the Isabella Tiger Moth, spend the winter curled up under leaves.
Some Overwinter as Nymphs
Insects that have an incomplete metamorphosis only have three stages of life: egg, nymph and adult. Dragonflies spend the winter as nymphs underwater will stay active under the ice. They emerge in spring as adults.
Some Overwinter as Pupae
Some moths and butterflies will stay in their pupal cases (chrysalides or cocoons) and come out in the spring as adults.
Some Overwinter as Adults
Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico in the fall and wait for the spring to arrive to begin their journey back home.