The epicuticle is the outermost portion of the exoskeleton of an insect (and various other arthropods); its exact composition and structure may differ somewhat among different taxa, but certain aspects can be generalized:
- It is secreted by the epidermis, and is deposited on top of the procuticle via pores that pass outwards through the procuticle from the epidermal cells. An exoskeleton is an external Skeleton that supports and protects an animal's body in contrast to the internal Endoskeleton of for example a Human. Insects ( Class Insecta) are a major group of Arthropods and the most diverse group of Animals on the Earth with over a million described Arthropods are Animals belonging to the Phylum Arthropoda (from Greek ἄρθρον arthron, " Joint " A taxon (plural taxa) or taxonomic unit, is a name designating an organism or a group of Organisms In Biological nomenclature according to The procuticle is the major portion of the Exoskeleton of an Insect (and various other Arthropods; its exact composition and structure may differ somewhat
- It contains no chitin, and is itself arranged in layers. Chitin ( C 8 H 13 O 5 N)n (ˈkaɪtən is a long-chain Polymer of a N-acetylglucosamine
- The layers typically consist of an inner epicuticle, an outer epicuticle (or cuticulin layer), a wax layer, and a cement layer.
- The wax layer is not present in all arthropods, as its primary function is to reduce water loss.
- The epicuticle cannot be digested during the molting cycle (see ecdysis), so it and the exocuticle are shed. Ecdysis is the Molting of the Cuticula in Arthropods and related groups ( Ecdysozoa)
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