What is the function of molting?
When arthropods outgrow their exoskeletons, they undergo periods of molting.
During molting, an arthropod sheds its entire exoskeleton and manufactures a larger one to take the smaller ones place.
Molting is controlled by the arthropods endocrine system. An animals endocrine system regulates body processes by means of chemicals called hormones.
As the time of molting approaches skin glanes digest the old part of the exoskeleton and other glands secrete a new skeleton.
Whenthe new skeleton is ready the animal pulls itself out of what remains of the original Skelton, this process can take several hours while the new exoskeleton is still soft the animal fills with air or fluids to allow room for growth before the next molting.
Most arthropods molt several times between hatching in adulthood.
This process is dangerous to the animal because it is vonerable to preditors while their shell is too soft to protect themselves. Most arthropods like to hide during molting or molt at night when less predictors can get them.