Definitions for ecdysisˈɛk də sɪs; -ˌsiz
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ecdysis
molt, molting, moult, moulting, ecdysis(noun)
periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles
The shedding of an outer layer of skin in snakes, crustaceans and insects; moulting
Origin: From ἔκδυσις, from ἐκδύω, from ἐκ + δύω.
the act of shedding, or casting off, an outer cuticular layer, as in the case of serpents, lobsters, etc.; a coming out; as, the ecdysis of the pupa from its shell; exuviation
Ecdysis is the moulting of the cuticula in many invertebrates. This process of moulting is the defining feature of the clade Ecdysozoa, comprising the arthropods, nematodes, velvet worms, horsehair worms, tardigrades, and Cephalorhyncha. Since the cuticula of these animals often forms an inelastic exoskeleton, it is shed during growth and a new, larger covering is formed. The remnants of the old, empty exoskeleton are called exuviae. After moulting, an arthropod is described as teneral, a callow; it is "fresh", pale and soft-bodied. Within one or two hours, the cuticle hardens and darkens following a tanning process similar to that of the tanning of leather. It is during this short phase that the animal expands, since growth is otherwise constrained by the rigidity of the exoskeleton. Growth of the limbs and other parts normally covered by hard exoskeleton is achieved by transfer of body fluids from soft parts before the new skin hardens. A spider with a small abdomen may be undernourished but more probably has recently undergone ecdysis. Some arthropods however, especially large insects with tracheal respiration, expand their new exoskeleton by swallowing or otherwise taking in air. The maturation of the structure and colouration of the new exoskeleton might take days or weeks in a long-lived insect; this can raise problems in trying to identify the species when a specimen has just recently undergone ecdysis.
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