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Final instar larva of a silkmoth

Final instar larva of a silkmoth

C014/8076

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

A final instar larva of the Saturnid moth, Samia cynthia. S. cynthia is a native of Eastern China, where its cocoons are one source of wild silk. It is now found locally in the wild in Europe and the USA, the result of failed attempts to exploit its silk production. The larva in this picture is growing on privet (Ligustrum vulgare) in captivity. The picture shows the features of the external anatomy of the larva. It is attached to the food plant by means of a pair of terminal claspers (bottom) and four pairs of abdominal false legs. The black dots in a row on the side of the body are spiracles, through which the animal breathes. The prominent protrusions from the top of the body are tubercles. To the top and left of the picture are the three pairs of true (thoracic) legs and the head.

Release details

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