abdomen -most posterior body segment of some arthropods, including mites, most insects, and spiders.

acarology -the study of mites. A person who studies mites is an acarologist.

antenna -segmented sensory appendage located anterior to the mouthparts on the body. Plural: antennae. View example on a collembola.

anterior -towards the front end

arthropod -members of this phylum are invertebrate organisms posessing jointed limbs and a segmented chitinous exoskeleton. From Greek, arthron = "jointed", podos = "foot".

arthropleonid collembola -a grouping of several types of collembola with a more cylindrical body form. View picture.

basal -when describing an appendage, referring to the direction connected to the body. As opposed to distal.

cephalothorax -the anterior body segment of a spider. View picture.

cerci -pair of appendages at the posterior tip of the abdomen of some insects.

chelate -shaped like a claw.

chelicera -the first appendage, part of the mouthparts of arthropods. Plural: chelicerae. View examples of a predator and a spider.

collembola -class of six-legged arthropods, all possess ventral tubes, also known as "springtails" because of the mechanism of the furcula. See arthropleonid and symphypleonid collembola.

coxa -the first segment of the leg of an arthropod. In oribatids, this section is fused with the body, in most other groups, it is free. Plural: coxae. View examples on an oribatid, a predator, and a spider.

distal -when describing an appendage, referring to the direction away from the body. As opposed to basal.

dorsal -referring to the top side of an organism. As opposed to ventral.

dorsum -the "back" or top side of a mite. As opposed to venter.

epigynum -external sex organs of adult female spiders, located on the ventral abdomen.

exuviae -see scalps.

furcula -forked posterior appendage of some collembola, when the furcula is flicked away from the body, the collembola is propelled into the air. View picture.


gaster -most posterior body segment of ants. The lateral dorsal profile of gaster may be smooth or distinctly notched as an identifying characteristic.

gnathosoma -collective name for mite mouthparts in total. View picture.

haltere -posterior pair of wings that have been reduced to knob-shaped structures in some insects (Diptera).

lamella -ridges of cuticle between the trichobothria on the dorsal anterior of some oribatids. Plural: lamellae.

larva -six-legged juvenile stage in mite life history. Plural: larvae.

"love handles" -here, term referring to a widening of the body around the middle of some minis and predators.

median -along the bilateral line of symmetry of an organism, in the middle.

microarthropod -a small arthropod.

mite -one of a diverse group of tiny eight-legged organisms within the order Acarina.

moniliform -term used to describe something resembling the structure of beads on a string. Applies to some oribatid legs.

nymph -eight-legged stage in mite life history before becoming an adult.

opisthonotal gland -secretory gland visible as a tube on the sides of some mites. View picture.

opisthosoma -general term referring to large shields on the dorsal surface of an organism

oribatid -members of Oribatidae, the largest family of mites. Primarily soil-dwelling, possessing hard exoskeletons in adult stages


palp -second appendage, associated with chelicerae to make up mouthparts. View picture.

pedicel -part of a spider that connects the cephalothorax and the abdomen.

pedipalp -a modified second appendage. The end of the pedipalp may be enlarged and rounded in adult male spiders, or modified into claws in pseudoscorpions. View spider picture.

petiole -small body segment in ants, between the thorax and the gaster. Some species have one petiole, some have two, in which case the posterior node can be referred to as the post-petiole.

plicate -exhibiting parallel "wrinkles" on the surface. Seen in some oribatids and other organisms.

post-petiole -see petiole.

posterior -towards the back end.

pteromorphs -the "wings" on some oribatids, flaps of exoskeleton that form a shield-like structure around the legs. These appendages may or may not be hinged. View picture.

ptychoid -referring to the folding mechanism exhibited by box mites where the legs tuck away and the body closes up.

reticulated -having a net-like pattern

rostrum -on an oribatid, a part of the dorsal exoskeleton that projects over the mouthparts like a "hood". From Latin, rostrum="beak". View picture.

scalps -on an oribatid, layers of previously shed skin that are retained on the body.

sclerotized -term describing hardening and darkening of arthropod exoskeletons.

seta -a hair, usually connoting properties of being fairly slender and rigid. Plural: setae.

spinneret -posterior finger-like appendage of a spider, usually six in total. The spinnerets produce silk at their tips. View picture.

sternum -ventral cephalothorax of a spider. View picture.

stigma -opening in the exoskeleton of some mites, part of the respiratory system, like a spiracle. Plural: stigmata.

symphypleonid collebmbola -a type of collembola with a more globose body and visible little abdomen. View picture.

thorax -the second body segment of most insects, between the head an the abdomen.

trichobothria -sensory setae attached at its base in a small pit. The trichobothria detect air currents and vibrations. Singular: trichobothrium. View picture.

tritosternum -a small, forked structure found at the ventral base of the mouthparts of some mites.

venter -the underside of an mite. As opposed to dorsum.

ventral -referring to the "front" or underside of an organism. As opposed to dorsal.

wings -see pteromorphs


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