Procryptocerus

Homology Weekly: Arolium

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 | Ants, Homology Weekly, Morphology | 3 Comments
Foot of a <em>Oecophylla smaragdina</em> worker. Pretarsal claws and manubrium in red; arolium in yellow; tarsi in green (Scanning Electron Micrograph, Roberto Keller/AMNH)

Foot of a Oecophylla smaragdina worker. Pretarsal claws and manubrium in red; arolium in yellow; tarsi in green (Scanning Electron Micrograph, Roberto Keller/AMNH)

This orchid-looking thing is really the foot of an ant. The large unfolded structure in between the powerful pair of claws is the adhesive organ of the foot called arolium (pl. arolia). It is basically a soft membranous bag folded into a suction cup that allows the ant to walk on vertical or upside down smooth surfaces.

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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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