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Rebirth (Molting)

Rebirth (Molting)
Photo Information
Copyright: kapil koltharkar (kapildk) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 181 W: 32 N: 502] (3197)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-02
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon coolpix L110
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/30 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-04-10 4:07
Viewed: 2452
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Insects grow in increments; in fact, all arthropods do. Each stage of growth ends with molting, the process of shedding and replacing the rigid exoskeleton. People often think molting is the simple act of an insect breaking out of its skin and leaving it behind. In truth, it's a complex process involving hormones, proteins, and enzymes.
Insect growth occurs in the stage immediate following egg hatch. As the immature insect feeds and grows, its exoskeleton remains an inflexible container. Eventually, the larva or nymph must shed this unyielding overcoat to continue its development.

Without the exoskeleton for protection and support, the insect could not survive. The old exoskeleton cannot be shed until a new one is ready underneath, a process that takes days or even weeks.

The Molting Process:
When there is no more room for the insect to expand inside its exoskeleton, a hormone triggers molting. The exoskeleton separates from the underlying epidermis. Molting fluid fills the newly created gap underneath. Epidermal cells secrete proteins to form a new cuticle, which serves as a barrier between the insect and the molting fluid.

With the new cuticle in place, enzymes in the molting fluid digest the inner layer of the exoskeleton. Chitin and protein are recycled by the epidermal cells, then secreted under the cuticle. This secretion becomes the procuticle, the major component of the new exoskeleton.

Once the new exoskeleton is formed, the insect can begin the familiar step of shedding its old one. A large intake of air helps the insect expand its body, and muscular contractions force the outer shell to split, usually down the dorsal side. The bug squeezes from the outgrown exoskeleton.

The insect must continue to swell and expand the new cuticle, so it is large enough to allow room for more growth. The new overcoat is soft and much paler than the former one, but over a few hours, it becomes darker and begins to harden. Within a few days, the insect appears to be a slightly larger copy of its former self.

samiran88, Alex99, Jakkals has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2012-04-10 5:01]

Hello Kapil,
an interesting phenomena well explained here. The view is so special as it shows whats the title is all about.
Nice clarity, colors and sharpness.


Dear Kapil
very very interesting natural phenomenon you captured and explained in your note.
very well POV and sharp excellent picture.
with best wishes.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-04-10 7:24]

Hi Kapil.
I could not understand all pictured objects without your explanation. Nice shot. Whole leaf with cute insect are in focus and surroundings are very delicate and nice too. TFS and best wishes.

hello Kapil
Good document for TN
great details good sharpness and beautiful colours
thanks greeting lou

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2012-04-13 7:05]

Hi Kapil,
Interestingly, an insect ..
Nice capture of this beautiful insect. Good sharp details and a nice composition.
Best wishes,

Hello Kapil,
A Very interesting and informative note accompanied with a very seldom seen photograph my friend. Splendid clarity and detail with good light management. You had a great POV!!
Best regards,

Interesting scene Kapil! Nice photo with wonderful colours and good sharpness.

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