Two abdomens from the tobacco hawkmoth Manduca sexta

Schwartz, L.

The term Programmed Cell Death (PCD) was coined in 1963 by Richard Lockshin to describe the death of the intersegmental muscles (ISM) of moths. Here are two abdomens from the tobacco hawkmoth Manduca sexta. Th one on the left is from an animal that is about to emerge from the pupal cuticle at the end of metamorphosis, and the one on the right is from an animal that is 30 hours older. The giant ISMs have selectively undergone death, and revealing the presence of smaller surviving muscle underneath them. This is a great model system or studying the phisology and molecular biology of PCD.