Apocrita

Homology Weekly: Propodeum

Monday, February 16th, 2009 | Ants, Comparative Anatomy, Homology Weekly, Morphology | 1 Comment
Abdomen of a <em>Manica rubida</em> worker. Roman numerals correspond to external abdominal segments. Propodeum shown in blue (Scanning Electron Micrograph, Roberto Keller/AMNH)

Abdomen of a Manica rubida worker. Roman numerals correspond to external abdominal segments. Propodeum shown in blue (Scanning Electron Micrograph, Roberto Keller/AMNH)

The propodeum is the subversive segment of the apocritan abdomen. As explained in a previous post, at some point during the evolution of Hymenoptera this first abdominal segment decided to part ways with its serial homologues and fuse with the thorax, forming a secondary tagma we call mesosoma. It is the Texas of the body’s segments so to speak.

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Homology Weekly: Tagmata

Sunday, February 1st, 2009 | Ants, Comparative Anatomy, Homology Weekly, Morphology | 4 Comments
Profile view of a <em>Ponera pennsylvanica</em> worker (Scanning Electron Micrograph, Roberto Keller/AMNH)

Profile view of a Ponera pennsylvanica worker showing primary tagmosis. Red: head; yellow: thorax; blue: abdomen (Scanning Electron Micrograph, Roberto Keller/AMNH)

When a group of successive segments along the arthropod body form a distinct section (by fusion, for example), the division is called a tagma (pl. tagmata). In the case of hexapods (= insects plus their primitively wingless cousins) the body segments are arranged into the three familiar tagmata: head, thorax and abdomen. › Continue reading

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