A teneral insect is one that has recently moulted and its exoskeleton is yet to harden and get its final colouration. In this state the insect is very vulnerable and the teneral state can last for some time. Teneral insects may be mobile and may even fly during this time but can often be identified due to their pale colouration.
A photograph of a Large Red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) shortly after moulting from the final nymphal stage. Note the drooping abdmon and pale colouration indicating that the insect is still in a teneral state.
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