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Freshly moulted grasshopper | by PF T.J.
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Freshly moulted grasshopper

A beautiful, freshly moulted grasshopper. Note the shedded skin (called exuvia) on the upper right.


Many insects shed their skin in a process called ecdysis in order to grow up. This is because unlike us, they have hard exoskeletons that restrict further growth, and thus have to be "renewed" in order to grow larger.


After ecdysis, insects that emerge are often most vulnerable to harm due to the new exoskeletons which are still soft. Winged insects cannot fly right after moulting as well, pretty much the only reason why I managed to get this shot! :p


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Taken on October 18, 2014