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The Life-Story of Insects

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Published: 1913
Language: English
Wordcount: 28,805 / 100 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 59.5
LoC Category: Q
Downloads: 650
Added to site: 2005.08.02
mnybks.net#: 10937
Genre: Science
Excerpt

re must be a succession of cuticle-castings--'moults' or ecdyses as they are often called.

When such a moult is about to take place the cuticle separates from the underlying epidermis, and a fluid collects beneath. A delicate new cuticle (see fig. 10 _cu'_) is then formed in contact with the epidermis, and the old cuticle opens, usually with a slit lengthwise along the back, to allow the insect in its new coat to emerge. At first this new coat is thin and flabby, but after a period of exposure to the air it hardens and darkens, becoming a worthy and larger successor to that which has been cast. The cuticle moreover is by no means wholly external. The greater part of the digestive canal and the whole air-tube system are formed by inpushings of the outer skin (ectoderm) and are consequently lined with an extension of the chitinous cuticle which is shed and renewed at every moult.

In all insects these successive moults tend to be associated with change of form, sometimes slight, sometimes very gre

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