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tobacco hornworm – Manduca sexta

tobacco hornworm - Manduca sexta

The tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) is a model organism used in a range of biological study, but its lack of silk production has never been thoroughly researched. A new study in Insect Systematics and Diversity, however, models in new detail the caterpillar’s first instar silk-producing anatomy and subsequent loss of that capability as it molts to later instars. (Photo by Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

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