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Silkworm cuticle. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the cuticle (skin) of a silkworm moth caterpillar (Bombyx mori). Silkworms shed their skin five times during their larval development. The first larval stage has hairy skin, but later stages are smooth and hairless. Each larval stage is known as an instar. At the end of its larval development, the silkworm produces threads of silk with which it constructs a cocoon in which it pupates before emerging as an adult moth. People farm silkworms for their silk, which is woven into cloth. Magnification: x800 when printed 10cm wide.
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