Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Every once in awhile I'm reminded there is a skeleton inside me. This makes "me" (my psyche) feel funny as apparently it's unsettling for the mental me to have to recognize the somatic me. Talk about coming to terms with bodily realities, imagine having to invert, shed and replace your outer skeleton, as insects do, several times in your life just as a normal process of maturing and growing. Humans shed and renew skin cells in an ongoing, mostly sub-conscious process. We grow gradually in the same way without any dramatic processes that we must physically and mentally participate in (I'll exempt the birth process here).
As I was shedding epidermis and growing older without really thinking about it one recent morning this freshly molted forktailed bush katydid (scudderia furcata) adult caught my eye. His new exoskeleton is still soft and has that unfired-looking celadon green tint. Imagine the intricacy of the process of extracting those long legs, delicate wings and antennae from the old exoskelton. Amazing, yet so commonplace.
Check out the stages of growth of Scudderia furcata on this page . Scroll to the bottom and click on Developmental Stages. By the way, this photo sequence shows a pink color phase katydid. Occasionally I see an individual with some pink, but so far never as dark as the one shown.