Opposite of teneral?

Pape, Thomas TPape at SNM.KU.DK
Mon Jun 6 09:26:39 CDT 2005

As can be read in the online Medical Dictionary: http://www.books.md/T/dic/teneral.php , the term "teneral" comes from the Latin Tener, teneris, which means tender or delicate. But it is not restricted to eclosed imagines nor to the order Neuroptera.

All arthropods have an exoskeleton and therefore moult. Immediately after ecdysis the cuticle is still soft, which allows it to expand and the animal grows. The soft cuticle will harden to better serve its purpose of an exoskeleton. This hardening [by way of cross-linking proteins] is called sclerotization, and the teneral period lasts until the hardening is finished.

Sexual maturity is not involved in defining the teneral period. Also juveniles moult.

I would say that the opposite of "teneral" is "hardened".

In the specific case of the ocelli becoming dark, it is through the development of the eye-pigment, not through sclerotization or hardening.

Thomas Pape
The Natural History Museum of Denmark

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