What does ecdysis mean?

Definitions for ecdysisˈɛk də sɪs; -ˌsiz

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ecdysis.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. molt, molting, moult, moulting, ecdysis(noun)

    periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles


  1. ecdysis(Noun)

    The shedding of an outer layer of skin in snakes, crustaceans and insects; moulting

  2. Origin: From ἔκδυσις, from ἐκδύω, from ἐκ + δύω.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ecdysis(noun)

    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

  2. Origin: [NL., fr. Gr. 'e`kdysis a getting out, fr. 'ekdy`ein, to put off; 'ek out + dy`ein to enter.]


  1. Ecdysis

    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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ecdysis

    ek′di-sis, n. the act of casting off an integument, as in serpents. [Gr.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ecdysis in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ecdysis in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Images & Illustrations of ecdysis

  1. ecdysisecdysisecdysis


Find a translation for the ecdysis definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these ecdysis definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"ecdysis." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 21 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ecdysis>.

Are we missing a good definition for ecdysis? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for ecdysis:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.