Cybertaxonomy

Homology Weekly: Gaster

The five segmented gaster (yellow) in a <em>Cerapachys nitidulus</em> worker. Roman numerals refer to abdominal segments (Scanning Electron Micrograph, Roberto Keller/AMNH)

The five segmented gaster (in yellow, arabic numeral) in a Cerapachys nitidulus worker. Roman numerals refer to abdominal segments (Scanning Electron Micrograph, Roberto Keller/AMNH)

Gaster is a morphological term that is very useful and yet imprecise for the purpose of comparative anatomy as it is currently used in ants. It comes from the Greek for “belly” and it refers to the collection of segments in the metasoma that remain after the pedicel of ants and wasps. It is the bulbous part of the body that hosts the insect viscera.

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And as we discussed last semester, the Army Ants will leave nothing but your bones.
- Tom Waits

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