Party time for Anicius

If we were arthropods and shed our skin periodically as we grew, how would we celebrate the event? Would all of your friends throw a party while you were still soft and pale in your new skin? Would they prop up the old moulted skin and burn it in effigy?

Well, when some of my favourite species moulted recently I didn’t throw a party, but I was pleased as punch. One of the species was the Anicius I’d mentioned in a previous post. Of that, we had found adult females but only juveniles of the males. Identifying species is easiest with adult males, so I kept the juvenile males alive and fed them, in hopes that they would mature. After about a week of keeping them, I found a male was in his little silken retreat beside his newly moulted skin. Here he is soft and fresh beside his skin:

And here’s how he looked after he hardened up, strutting around as a fully adult male. Now that he’s adult, I can see that he is quite similar to a species I’d found 31 years ago near Naupan, Puebla.

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