|Description:||This scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image is the fifth in a series of five PHIL images, 10106, 10107, 10108, 10109, and 10110, depicting the distalmost exoskeletal morphology found on one of the six legs of an unidentified hornet found in the suburbs of Decatur, Georgia. Under a magnification of 2796X, what this SEM reveals is the anatomical configuration of what is termed the leg’s “pretarsus” or “claw”, but in particular the “arolium”, which is centered between the two distal claws.|
The insect leg is usually composed of six segments: the proximal “coxa”, which attaches the leg to the thorax, followed distally by the leg’s trochanter, femur, tibia, tarsus, and pretarsus, which in some insects, as is the case of this hornet, is in the form of a “claw”.
This hornet was a member of the Phylum Arthropoda, i.e., Arthro = jointed, and poda = legs, and the class Insecta, for it possessed three pairs of these jointed extremities. Note the hair-like “setae”, seen here adorning the insect’s tarsal leg segments, which provided the hornet with data indicative of changes encountered in its environment such as chemical, thermal, and tactile queues.