— MegatheriumSociety.org is a VIEWER-PARTICIPANT WEBSITE.Click on the link for information on what that means. This glossary was compiled and edited by Jerry Cates, using multiple sources, including the references listed at the end of this article:
A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M – N – O – P – Q – R – S – T – U – V – W – X – Y – Z
- abdomen (AB-doh-mun): L. abdomen = the belly; 1. zoology — a. vertebrates — the body region containing the internal organs other than the heart and lungs (in Mammalia: bounded by diaphragm); 2. arthropods — the hind region (tagma) of the body containing most of the digestive tact, the gonads, and the genital openings; 2a. arachnids — the posterior division of the spider body (= opisthosoma, q.v.), comprising the pedicel and usu. largely unsegmented sac-like portion bearing posteriorly the spinnerets; 2b. Insects — the segments of the body lying posterior to the thorax.
- accessory claws: 1. arachnids — serrated setae on the distal tarsi of web-building spiders, used to grip the silk line.
- aciniform (uh-SIN-i-form): 1. arachnids — one of six kinds of silk glands found in spiders. See also ampullate, tubuliform, aggregate, piriform, and flagelliform, or coronate.
- acuminate (uh-KYOO-men-ate): L. acumen = a sharp point, a point, cunning + L. at = before, at, towards: 1. zoology — tapering to a point.
- AER: 1. arachnids — acronymic desig. for anterior eye row.
- aggressive mimicry: 1. arachnids — spider predation on other spiders, via the stratagem of approaching the other’s web, vibrating it as would a snared insect, then attacking the web’s occupant when the latter approaches to investigate.
- ALE: 1. arachnids — acronymic desig. for anterior lateral eye, i.e., the lateral-most eye of the AER (q.v.).
- agonistic (AAG-oh-NISS-tick): Gr. αγων “agon” = assembly, contest, struggle; also Gr. αγωνιστης “agonistes” = champion: 1. zoology — combative or aggressive behavior.
- alveolus (al-vee-OH-luhs): L. alveolus = small pit, cavity, socket; 1. arachnids — the concave ventral surface of the male palpal cymbium, i.e., the modified palpal tarsus wherein resides the genital bulb (q.v.).
- AME: 1. arachnids — acronymic desig. for anterior median eye(s), i.e., the mid-most eye(s) of the AER (q.v.).
- anal tubercle (AA-nul TUU-burr-kul): 1. arachnids — a small caudal tubercle, posterior to a spider’s spinnerets, that bears the anal opening, also known as the post-abdomen.
- angulate (AN-ghu-late): L. angulus = a corner, angle; 1. zoology — having an angular form.
- annulate (AN-yoo-late): L. annulus = a signet ring, or more generally, a ring; 1. arachnids — transverse rings of pigmentation around a body part such as a leg.
- annuli (AN-yoo-lye): L. annulus = a signet ring, or more generally, a ring; 1. arachnids — transverse wrinkles, or rings, on an epigynal scape or other anatomical structure.
- anteriad (an-TEER-ee-ud) (= anterior, [q.v.]): L. anterius = before, in front of, former + L. –ad = toward; 1. biology — toward the front.
- anterior (an-TEER-ee-ohr) (= anteriad): L. anterius = before, in front of, former; 1. biology — the front, toward the front.
- anterior eye row (AER): 1. arachnids — the anteriormost row of eyes, usu. comprising the anterior lateral eyes (ALE) and anterior median eyes (AME).
- anterior lateral eye(s) (ALE): 1. arachnids; 1.a. spiders — eyes situated on the anterolateral portion of the eye group.
- anterior lateral spinnerets (ALS) = anterior spinnerets: 1. arachnids; 1.a. spiders — anterolateral spinnerets, as distinguished from the anteromedial spinnerets (q.v.); these are large in the Araneomorphae, but are absent in most Mygalomorphae.
- anterior median eyes (AME) (= primary eyes, q.v.): 1. arachnids; 1.a. spiders — eyes situated at the anteromedial portion of the eye group; morphologically distinct from the other eyes, and often reduced or lost.
- anterior median spinnerets (AMS) = anteromedial spinnerets: 1. arachnids; 1.a. spiders — distinguished from the anterior lateral spinnerets (ALS) (q.v.); these are present only in some Mesothelae, absent in Mygalomorphae, and represented by a cribellum or colulus in Araneomorphae.
- anterior spinnerets = anterior lateral spinnerets (q.v.)
- anterodorsal: 1. zoology — toward the front of the dorsal, or top, surface of the body, appendage, or other anatomical structure.
- anterolateral: 1. zoology — toward the front side portion of the body, appendage, or other anatomical structure.
- anteromesal: 1. zoology — toward the midline front of a body, appendage, or other anatomical structure.
- anteroventral: 1. zoology — toward the front of the ventral, or underside, of a body, appendage, or other anatomical structure.
- apical (AP-i-kuhl) (also apicad) = distal (distad): 1. zoology — toward the terminus of an appendage, away from the body.
- apodeme (AP-oh-deem): Gr. απο “apo” = out of, away from + Gr. δεμας “demas”= the living body; 1. zoology — an external skeletal process.
- apomorphic (ap-oh-MOHR-fik): Gr. απο “apo” = out of, away from + Gr. μορφη “morphe” = form, shape, figure, thus the derivative of a (more primitive) structure; 1. zoology — derived, advanced.
- apophysis (uh-PAH-fuh-sis); pl. apophyses: Gr. απο “apo” = out of, away from + Gr. φυσις “physis” = origin, the natural form or constitution, outward form, natural place, one’s nature, thus a protrusion emanating from an anatomical structure; 1. arachnids; 1.a. spiders — a cuticular or sclerotized projection (evagination), common on male palpal segments, including femur, patella, or tibia, of the palp.
- Arachnida (uh-RAKH-nud-uh): 1. arachnids — a class of arthropods first described by Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier [August 23, 1769 – May 13, 1832], a.k.a. Georges Cuvier, a French naturalist and zoologist, in 1812, using the Gr. noun αραχης “araches” = a spider, in reference to all eight-legged arthropods, including such disparate animals as ticks, mites, scorpions, harvestmen, solpugids, and spiders.
- Araneae (uh-RAIN-ee-uh): 1. arach. taxon. — an order of arachnids(described by Carl Alexander Clerck [1709 – 22 July 1765], a Swedish entomologist and arachnologist, in 1757, using the L. aranea = a spider or a spider’s web, to refer to eight legged arthropods that spin webs.
- Araneomorphae (uh-RAIN-ee-oh-MOHR-fee) (= the true spiders): L. aranea = a spider or a spider’s web + Gr. μορφωσις = “morphosis” = shaping, semblance, form; 1. arachnids; 1.a. spiders — one of two infraorders of spiders (see also Mygalomorphae) comprised of most modern spiders, including the orbweavers, wolf spiders, jumping spiders, etc.
- arboreal (Ahrr-buh-REE-uhl): L. arbor = a tree + –eal, a prepositional combining form → of trees; 1. zoology — tree dwelling.
- arcuate (AHR-kyoo-at): L. arcus = a bow; also L. arcuatus = curved; + L. at = at, to, towards; 1. zoology — curved like a bow or arc-shaped.
- attenuate (ah-TEN-yoo-utt): L. attenuatus = weakened, meagre, unadorned; 1. zoology — tapering into a long point.
- atriobursal (Ate-ree-oh-BUHR-suhl) orifice: 1. arachnids; 1.a. spiders — the opening of the seminal receptacle of a female spider.
- atrium (AA-tree-uhm): L. atrium = an entrance hall; 1. arachnids; 1.a. spiders — the enlarged opening in the gonopore in haplogyne females; a cavity in the epigynal plate of entelegyne females containing copulatory openings.
- autospasy (ah-toh-SPAY-see) = autotomize, autotomy: Gr. αυτος “autos” = self + Gr. σπαω “spao” = pluck off, tear, drag away; 1. zoology — the sacrificial loss of a leg or other appendage at a locus of contrived weakness, usu. as a means of defense against predators; in spiders this often occurs at the coxa-trochanter joint, but sometimes takes place at the patella-tibia joint; in anurans this often occurs at the suture where the tail attaches to the body.
- autotomize (aw-TAW-toh-meyz) = autospasy, autotomy: Gr. αυτος “autos” = self + Gr. τομις “tomis” = knife, thus a willful self-removal or excision; 1. zoology — intentional removal, or breaking off, by a spider, of its own appendage.
- anat. = anatomy; arach. = arachnid; behav. = behavioral; biol. = biological (inclusive of all animals and plants); bot. = botanical (inclusive of all plants); Gr. = Greek; L. = Latin; q.v. = L. quod vide = which see; pl. = plural; taxon. = taxonomy; zool. = zoological (inclusive of all animals).
- Allaby, Michael, Ed. 1991. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Zoology. Oxford Press.
- Beccaloni, Jan. 2009. Arachnids; Glossary, p. 319. University of California Press, p. 56.
- Gertsch, Willis J., 1979. American Spiders, 2nd Edition: Glossary, pp. 255-260. Von Nostrand Reinhold Company.
- Howell, W. Mike, and Ronald L. Jenkins. 2004. Spiders of the Eastern United States; Glossary, Chapter X, pp. 341-348. Pearson Education.
- Jackman, John A. 1997. A Field Guide to Spiders & Scorpions of Texas: Glossary pp. 173-177. Texas Monthly.
- Kaston, B. J. 1978. How to know the spiders: Index and Pictured Glossary, pp. 267-272. McGraw Hill Company.
- Preston-Mafham, Rod. 1996. The Book of Spiders and Scorpions; Glossary, pp. 140-141. Barnes & Noble Books, New York.
- Ubick, D., P. Paquin, P.E. Cusing and V. Roth, editors, 2005. Spiders of North America, Chapter 72: Glossary — pronunciation guide. Published by the American Arachnological Society.
- Venes, Donald, Ed. 2009. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 21st Ed. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia.
- Williams, Tim. 2005. A Dictionary of the Roots and Combining Forms of Scientific Words. Squirrox Press, Norfolk, England.
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