DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The head of a recently emerged Chinese silkmoth, Samia cynthia. The adult moth ( the imago ) has no mouthparts, and lives for only a few days. During that time it mates, and the females lay their eggs before dying. Silkmoths have very large feathery antennae, the branches of which contain many fine hairs that act as sensory organs ( called sensilla ). Some sense movement, while others are adapted to recognising scent, such as the pheromones produced by a potential female mate, as well as the smell of a plant suitable as an egg-laying site. The picture shows a one day old moth adult.
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