caterpillar cremaster

Gerald Mines mines at
Tue Jun 15 19:44:29 EDT 1999

Hi Sally,

The caterpillar uses the anal prolegs (rearmost set of false legs),
which have microscopic hooks, to clasp onto the silk pad.  When the
larval skin is nearly shed, the pupa "steps out" of the skin, which is
still attached to the pupa by a ligament at the posterior end of the
pupa, and attaches it's cremaster to the silk pad.  The writhing motions
of the pupa then cause the ligament to break and the larval skin falls
away from the pupa.

Gerald Mines
Omaha, Nebraska

Sunsol Daniels wrote:
> My book says that pupae have cremasters to hook into the silk button.
> How about the caterpillar?  How does it attach to the silk button before
> it molts? Does it have a cremaster too?
> Sally

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