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.
* It contains no chitin, and is itself arranged in layers.
* 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.

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  • epicuticle — noun Date: 1929 the outermost waxy layer of the arthropod exoskeleton • epicuticular adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • epicuticle — См. epicuticula …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • epicuticle — /ep i kyooh ti keuhl/, n. the thin, waxy outer layer of the insect exoskeleton. [1925 30; EPI + CUTICLE] * * * …   Universalium

  • epicuticle — noun The outermost portion of the exoskeleton of an insect or arthropod …   Wiktionary

  • epicuticle — epi·cu·ti·cle (ep″ĭ kuґtĭ kəl) [epi + L. cuticula] the thin, flexible, colorless, outermost layer of the exoskeleton of certain crustaceans and arthropods, composed of wax and cuticulin …   Medical dictionary

  • epicuticle — epi·cuticle …   English syllables

  • epicuticle — ep•i•cu•ti•cle [[t]ˌɛp ɪˈkyu tɪ kəl[/t]] n. anat. ent the thin, waxy outer layer of the insect exoskeleton • Etymology: 1925–30 …   From formal English to slang

  • epicuticle — …   Useful english dictionary

  • arthropod — /ahr threuh pod /, n. 1. any invertebrate of the phylum Arthropoda, having a segmented body, jointed limbs, and usually a chitinous shell that undergoes moltings, including the insects, spiders and other arachnids, crustaceans, and myriapods. adj …   Universalium

  • Arthropod — Temporal range: 540–0 Ma …   Wikipedia

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