the hindmost of an insect’s three major body sections. The abdomen is the center for digestion and reproduction.
a full grown, sexually mature insect.
a pair of segmented sensory organs, one on each side of the head, used for sensing touch, taste, and smell. Commonly called “feelers”.
located near or toward the head of an organism.
animals of the phylum Arthropoda. All arthropods have a hardened exoskeleton, jointed legs, and a multi-segmented body. Examples: crabs, shrimp, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, and insects.
an adult, typically day active member of the insect group Lepidoptera. Butterflies are often brightly colored and have antennae with knobs on the ends.
an immature butterfly or moth. Also known as a larva.
the pattern of growth and change seen in the higher insects. It is characterized by the appearance of four distinct life stages: the egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
the hardened outer “skin” of insects. It is shed during molting.
located near or toward the back or upper surface of an organism.
the major pumping vessel of the insect circulatory system. In Manduca sexta it is visible as a dark dorsal line in late fifth instar (wandering) larvae.
first stage of an insect
supporting structure (e.g. bones ) on the inside of the body. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals have endoskeletons.
supporting structure on the outside of the body. All arthropods have exoskeletons.
a common name for moths in the same family as Manduca sexta (Sphingidae ).
most anterior of an insect’s three main body section. The head is the center for sensory structures (e.g. eyes and antennae) and feeding.
informal term for a Manduca larva just before molting. Larvae at this stage look “bubble-headed”.
the hard exoskeleton covering the head of an insect. In Manduca larvae, this is one of the only truly hard sections of the body.
the two rear wings of an insect.
the variety of plant on which an insect prefers to live and eat. Manduca sexta host plants are in the Nightshade family (Solanaceae).
common name for another moth genus in the same family as Manduca sexta (Sphingidae ), which hover at flowers like hummingbirds.
a class in the phylum Arthropoda. Insects are characterized by having six legs and three major body sections.
the period between larval molts. The first instar is the stage between the egg and the first molt, the second instar is the stage between the first and second molts, etc. Manduca sexta normally has 5 larval instars.
the lower lip; a structure that forms the floor of the mouth.
the upper lip, which covers the base of the mandibles and forms the roof of the mouth.
an immature insect. Butterfly and moth larvae are also called caterpillars.
the formal classification group (order) of butterflies and moths.
insects’ first pair of jaws.
insects’ second pair of jaws. Maxillae also have sensory function.
fecal material that accumulates in the pupa that is eliminated when the adult emerges.
the act of looking/acting like something else as a method of protection. Insects using mimicry can either mimic their surroundings so that they are less conspicuous, or deter predators by looking like something dangerous and/or distasteful.
the process of shedding the exoskeleton.
an adult, typically dusk – or evening – active member of the insect order Lepidoptera. Moths are usually less brightly colored than butterflies.
a category in the hierarchy of classification. This hierarchy is as follows: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.
a mouth feeler.
a “family tree” of organisms. Phylogenies show how organisms are related to each other. They can be generated using many different kinds of data, including DNA sequences and morphological characteristics.
near or toward the rear of an organism.
the mouthpart of an adult moth or butterfly. The proboscis works as a functional siphon, enabling the insect to sip nectar from flowers.
the act of blending into one’s surroundings to hide from potential predators.
one of the life stages of complete metamorphosis. Often referred to as a “resting” stage, since the insect is not walking around or eating. Nevertheless, complex metabolic changes are taking place throughout the pupal stage.
coiled, tubelike mouthpart of adult Manduca, used to sip nectar from flowers.
common name for moths in the same family as Manduca sexta (Sphingidae). The name comes from the “Sphinx-like” posture many of the larvae will assume if disturbed.
one of the “breathing holes” that run down the sides of an insect’s thorax and abdomen. Spiracles are the external openings of all insects’ respiratory systems.
stage in the life history of an organism.
the middle section of an insect’s body. The legs and wings attach to the thorax, making it the center for locomotion.
the common name of Manduca sexta. The name comes from the spine-like horn on the posterior end of the larvae and the fact that the larvae feed on the leaves of tobacco plants.
near or toward the “belly” of an organism. (opposite of dorsal )
the walking behavior of late 5th instar Manduca larvae, just before pupation.