Content of the article: "Terminology for the life stages of Xeno’jiiva and Safi’jiiva for those interested"
The English translation of the Dive to MHW lore book describes Xeno'jiiva's cocoon stage as its pupal stage, this is a term used for the metamorphosis of insects, of course there are no cocooning vertebrate species in the real world, so I suppose using insect terminology for Xeno'jiiva is appropriate.
The term used to refer to the final, sexually mature, and winged (in winged species), is the imago (the imaginal stage).
The stage where the insect is still in development is the instar.
Some additional terms can be used to describe the various different stages of instars:
Some insects undergo an intermediary metamorphosis: they go from larval stage to pupal stage. Most pupae are sessile and some encase themselves in cocoons. Pupae will then moult a final time and reach their imaginal stage.
Other insects instead don't undergo much metamorphosis before going through their final moult to reach the imaginal stage, this stage is called the nymph.
Additionally some of them (mayflies) will go through another stage after the nymph and before the imago, winged but not yet sexually mature, this stage is called the subimago.
Xeno'jiiva and Safi'jiiva are therefore a mix of both, undergoing a pupal stage, but also a subimaginal stage, making it quite unique as it would have 5 stages of life: egg, larva, pupa, subimago, and finally imago.
Safi'jiiva would be the imago, Xeno'jiiva the subimago (unknown if sexually mature or not), Xeno'jiiva's cocooning stage is the pupa (official description), its unknown pre-cocooning stage the larva, and presumably it would hatch from an egg, but perhaps not.
It is also possible that the Xeno'jiiva in its cocoon isn't physiologically much different from before cocooning, therefore making it closer to a nymph that happens to make a cocoon before entering its subimaginal stage, rather than a larva and cocooning pupa.
Additionally, it is also possible that the subimago isn't physiologically much different from the pupal/nymphal stage, Xeno'jiiva could easily have had its wings during and before cocooning, it may even have looked exactly the same if only less gorged in energy and much smaller, with some more neotenic (juvenile) proportions.
For all we know, the only time it truly undergoes metamorphosis is from its subimaginal stage to imago, perhaps making the use of the term subimago unnecessary, so it would simply be described as instar and imago.
- Connection between Alatreon and Safi’jiiva (Post-Alatreon dialogue spoilers)
- MHWorld Weekly Reset – Aug 07, 2020
- MHWorld Weekly Reset – Oct 02, 2020
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