AskDefine | Define exuviae

Dictionary Definition

exuviae n : cast-off skins or coverings of various organisms during ecdysis

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

exuere.

Noun

  1. The coverings of an animal that have been shed or cast off, particularly the molted exoskeletons of arthropods.
  2. Roman military term for weaponry and equipment stripped from the person of a foe; booty.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Exuvia (plural: exuviae) is a term used in biology to describe the remains of an exoskeleton that is left after an arthropod (insect, crustacean or arachnid) has moulted. The exuvia of an animal can be important to biologists as it can often be used identify the species of the animal and even its sex.
As it is not always practical to study insects, crustaceans or arachnids directly and because exuviae can be collected fairly easily, exuviae can play an important part in helping to determine some general aspects of a species overall life cycle such as distribution, sex ratio, production and proof of breeding in a habitat.

External links

exuviae in German: Exuvie
exuviae in Modern Greek (1453-): έκδυμα
exuviae in Spanish: Exuvia
exuviae in French: Exuvie
exuviae in Italian: Exuvia
exuviae in Latin: Exuvia
exuviae in Portuguese: Exúvia
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