What do bed bug cast skins look like?

by nobugsonme on January 15, 2013 · 11 comments

in bed bugs, cast skins, Lou Sorkin, photo of bed bugs, photos, photos of cast skins, photos of nymphs

More helpful images of bed bugs (in this case, images of bed bug cast skins) from Lou Sorkin!

3 shed skins of 5th instar bed bug nymphs

Lou Sorkin’s description of his photo:

“A dorsal, and 2 ventral views of the exuviae or shed skins of 5th instar bed bug nymphs. You can see the 3 dorsal scent gland areas on the middle of 3 dorsal abdominal sclerites in bug on left. You are looking into the bug: the thoracic sclerites split down the center and on head and the adult crawled out. The proboscis is evident as are 2 antennae of the bug on right. Contrast, brightness, gamma settings modified to enhance the sclerotized parts.”

And now, for their close-ups:

close-ups of 3 shed skins of 5th instar bed bug nymphs

Lou describes this image:

“Magnified view of the 3 exuviae (shed skins) of the 5th instar bed bug nymphs. Stylet fascicle and labium visible in shed skin on right (on its back, venter up). The fine, hairlike white strands in the sheds are the tracheae, very fine tubes (finer ones are tracheoles) through which air is transported within the body and are connected to the outside world via the spiracles (openings in body wall for air to enter and leave body– some can be seen where tracheae meets the body wall in shed on left, dorsum up). Can also look inside hollow leg sockets. Contrast, brightness, gamma settings modified to enhance the sclerotized parts.”

Golden bed bug skins!

They’re almost, dare I say it, beautiful.

shed skin of 5th instar bed bug nymph

Lou describes this photo as follows:

“Side view of a shed skin (exuviae) of a freshly molted 5th instar bed bug nymph. Thoracic sclerites have a break in their centers and also in head area, so the sclerite breaks and the adult is able to crawl out. Membrane is pale, sclerotized body segments are darker brown. You can see antenna on front of head. Dorsal scent gland area on middle of 3 abdominal sclerites. Adult insect doesn’t r