Chapter

Morphology

Jerry A. Powell and Paul A. Opler

in Moths of Western North America

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780520251977
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943773 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520251977.003.0001
Morphology

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This chapter focuses on the morphology of adult and larval moths. The adult body framework consists of a hardened exoskeleton made up of a head, thorax, and abdomen. The head of an adult moth contains large compound eyes on the sides, antennae between them, and the mouthparts below, while the head of the larva is a round flattened structure characterized with lobes, bearing an ellipse of six simple eyes. The thorax of adult moths has three fused segments (pro-, meso-, and methathorax), each segment with legs and two pairs of wings in the middle and third segments. The thorax of larval moths is three-segmented with well-developed segmented true legs. The adult abdomen has 10 segments and segments 8 through 10 or 9 and 10 usually greatly modified to form external parts of the genitalia. In larval moths, the abdomen has 10 segments, with leglike organs on all segments.

Keywords: morphology; moths; adult moths; larval moths; exoskeleton; head; thorax; abdomen; genitalia

Chapter.  4511 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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