from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Zoology A period during which growth or development is suspended and physiological activity is diminished, as in certain insects in response to adverse environmental conditions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A temporary pause in the growth and development of an organism due to adverse environmental conditions (especially in insects and in the embryos of many of the oviparous species of fish in the order Cyprinodontiformes)

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In embryology, the stage of quiescence which separates two blastokinetic movements in the insect embryo.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Greek diapausis, pause, from diapauein, to pause : dia-, between; see dia- + pauein, to stop.


  • The last generation of the summer enters into a non-reproductive phase known as diapause and may live seven months or more.

    Death of a Monarch

  • The answer, says Hazel, is a clever feat of adaptation called diapause that allows butterflies to live through months of freezing weather.

    DePauw University News

  • "diapause" - in which their metabolism lowers and simultaneously, their freezing points, as they drop into dormancy or bug hibernation.

    Christian Science Monitor | All Stories

  • Some insects do this in the real world, it's called "diapause". starkraving on May 17, 2008

    Marvel Announces Next Four Films - Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Avengers! «

  • While environmental factors cause and stop diapause, changes in the environment and unpredictable weather patterns global warming!!! can have an adverse effect on insects by releasing them from hibernation too early.

    So Much Pretty

  • Examples include life-history strategies incorporating resting stages and diapause, unique physiological mechanisms to store energy and nutrients, an ability to grow and reproduce quickly during brief growing seasons, and extended life spans relative to more temperate species.

    Introduction to freshwater ecosystems and fisheries in the Arctic

  • However, it is known that some species enter a reproductive diapause when reared at constant temperature in the laboratory (e. g., the collembolan Hypogastrura tullbergi), and that this diapause can only be terminated by exposure to cold.

    Conservation of arctic species

  • The evolution of diapause in the killifish family rivulidae (Atherinomorpha, Cyprinodontiformes): A molecular, phylogenetic, and biogeographic perspective.

    Biological diversity in the coastal forests of Eastern Africa

  • If unfavourable environmental conditions, such as declines in temperature, oxygen or food availability, occur, the copepodite larvae of some freshwater species can enter a diapause stage until conditions improve.


  • Aside from this variation in mating systems, many freshwater crustaceans produce two types of eggs: one which develops immediately, while the other which may diapause for up to several hundred years.



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  • Philadelphia Inquirer: 'Too bad you're not a fruit fly. When winter arrives, many of them have a mysterious ability to simply chill out - entering a mild state of quasi-hibernation known as diapause.'

    October 26, 2008