Definition of exuviae in US English:


plural noun

  • also treated as singular An animal's cast or sloughed skin, especially that of an insect larva.

    • ‘Emerged adult Axarus and shed pupal exuviae were removed from the trap daily.’
    • ‘Within 48 hours, we washed the samples, removing inorganic material and invertebrate cases and exuviae, and sieved them through 1 mm mesh.’
    • ‘This assemblage, perhaps representing an accumulation of molted exuviae, was apparently preserved as the result of rapid burial by carbonate muds and silts during a storm event.’
    • ‘Whether the retainment of exuviae is characteristic of the species is open to question.’
    • ‘All specimens are exuviae, with thin and fragile carapaces and abdomens and fragmentary bodies and appendages.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘animal skins, spoils of the enemy’, from exuere ‘divest oneself of’.