ⓘ Arthropod anatomy ..

Antenna (biology)

Antennae, sometimes referred to as "feelers", are paired appendages used for sensing in arthropods. Antennae are connected to the first one or two segments of the arthropod head. They vary widely in form but are always made of one or more jointed segments. While they are typically sensory organs, the exact nature of what they sense and how they sense it is not the same in all groups. Functions may variously include sensing touch, air motion, heat, vibration sound, and especially smell or taste. Antennae are sometimes modified for other purposes, such as mating, brooding, swimming, and even ...

Arthropod mouthparts

The mouthparts of arthropods have evolved into a number of forms, each adapted to a different style or mode of feeding. Most mouthparts represent modified, paired appendages, which in ancestral forms would have appeared more like legs than mouthparts. In general, arthropods have mouthparts for cutting, chewing, piercing, sucking, shredding, siphoning, and filtering. This article outlines the basic elements of four arthropod groups: insects, myriapods, crustaceans and chelicerates. Insects are used as the model, with the novel mouthparts of the other groups introduced in turn. Insects are n ...


The cephalothorax, also called prosoma in some groups, is a tagma of various arthropods, comprising the head and the thorax fused together, as distinct from the abdomen behind. The word cephalothorax is derived from the Greek words for head and thorax. This fusion of the head and thorax is seen in chelicerates and crustaceans; in other groups, such as the Hexapoda, the head remains free of the thorax. In horseshoe crabs and many crustaceans, a hard shell called the carapace covers the cephalothorax.

Chela (organ)

A chela, also named claw, nipper, or pincer, is a pincer-like organ terminating certain limbs of some arthropods. The name comes from Greek through New Latin. The plural form is chelae. Legs bearing a chela are called chelipeds. Another name is claw because most chelae are curved and have a sharp point like a claw.

Chordotonal organ

Chordotonal organs are stretch receptor organs in insects and other arthropods. They are located at most joints and are made up of clusters of scolopidia that either directly or indirectly connect two joints and sense their movements relative to one another. They can have both extero- and proprioceptive functions, for example sensing auditory stimuli or leg movement. The femoral chordotonal organ is thought to be functionally homologous to muscle spindles. The word was coined by Vitus Graber in 1882 though he interpreted them as being stretched between two points like a string, sensing vib ...

Arthropod cuticle

The cuticle forms the major part of the integument of the Arthropoda. It includes most of the material of the exoskeleton of the insects, Crustacea, Arachnida, and Myriapoda.