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palp                                        Leg like structure comprised of varying numbers of segments arising from the maxilla, major role is food tasting

palpomere.                            Palp segment.

paraglossa                             Paired lobes on the outer edges of the labium.

paramere.                              One of a pair of processes usually articulated to the phallobase of the beetle aedeagus. Also referred to as lateral lobes. Occasionally used in the singular for the apicale (Spilman 1952).

paraprocts                              Paired ventrilateral appendages.

parategula                             An apically rounded, more or less dorsally flattened lobe arising from posterolateral corner of mesoscutum and lying adjacent to the tegula. Present in some Eumeninae and some Masarinae (Hymenoptera)

parthenogenenic                   Reproduction by the formation of egg cells capable of development without fertilization.

pecten                                     In Hymenoptera, a comb of long tarsal setae, usually on the foreleg and is used to rake soil particles. In Lepidoptera, there may be a pecten of stiff bristle-like scales or a dense scale tuft.  In a few groups the scape is broadly flattened and concave beneath when it is said to form an eye-cap.

pectinate antenna.                Antenna in which most antennomeres bear short, flattened processes and so appear comb-like.

pedicel                                    Second antennal segment, also name given to the tiny waist of ants.

pedon.                                     The lower lobe of a penis which is divided horizontally into dorsal and ventral lobes; usually referring only to the penis in Curculionoidea.

penis.                                      The main intromittent organ in beetles, usually consisting of an external, sclerotized tube and an internal, inflatable endophallus; also refers to the external tube only.

perfoliate antenna.                Antenna in which most antennomeres are flattened and expanded on each side of the articulation.

petiolate                                 Attached by a narrow stalk.

petiole                                     Narrow waist of hymenoptera.

phallobase.                              The basal lobe of the aedeagus in beetles; often enlarged or combined with the fused parameres to form a tegmen.

phallomere                              Part of the genitalia of Blattodea.

pharate                                    The pharate stage is the larval period between apolysis and ecdysis.

phragma                                  A partition. A projecting ridge to which muscles are attached.

phytophagous                          Feeding on plants.

pictured                                   Used to describe mottled wings of certain Diptera and other insects.

piliform scales                        Hair-like.                       

pilose                                       Covered with soft hair.

plantula                                   Orthoptera, Tettigoniinae. A divided, flap-like structure at the base of the hind tarsus.

plastron                                    Fine pile of specialised microtrichia

pleura                                       The sides of an insect. In the abdomen the sides remain membranous, but in the thorax, where greater rigidity is required, strengthening sclerites are laid down in the pleural membrane.                         

pleuron                                     Side wall of a thoracic segment.

pleural membrane                   (of abdomen). The membrane joining abdominal tergites to sternites.

pleurosternal suture               (of prothorax). Suture joining the propleuron to the prosternum in Archostemata, Adephaga and Myxophaga.

pleurotrochantin                     (of prothorax). The combined propleuron and protrochantin occurring in Myxophaga and Polyphaga. The distal portion is usually called the trochantin, although the dividing line between this and the pleuron is rarely discernible.

plumose antenna.                    Antenna in which most antennomeres bear single or paired, narrow or cylindrical processes usually bearing fine hairs.

pollen basket                           Pollen carrying region on the hind leg of bees, also called the corbicula.

polylectic                                 Bees that gather pollen from many kinds of flower. c.f. oligolectic.

polyphyletic                            Of many tribes. Derived from more than one ancestral line.

porrect                                     Extended forward.    [picture for Lepidoptera]

postcoxal line                         (of abdomen). Raised line or carina arising from the hind edge of the metacoxal cavity and extending posteriorly or posterolaterally and sometimes recurved; rarely there may be more than one line on each side.

postcoxal line                        (of metaventrite). Raised line or carina arising from the hind edge of the mesocoxal cavity and extending posteriorly or posterolaterally and sometimes recurved. Rarely there may be more than one line on each side.

postcoxal projection              (of hypomeron or prothoracic pleuron). A mesal projection of the hypomeron or prothoracic pleuron, which extends behind the procoxa and may meet the prosternal process or, in some cases, the opposing postcoxal projection.

posterior                                 Facing or concerning the rear.

posterior angles                     (of pronotum). The hind corners of the pronotal disc. These may be rounded, angulate or produced backwards forming acute processes.

postmentum                           Basal region of the labium.

postscutellum                        Division of the mesonotum, well developed in some flies.

post-vertical bristles             Bristles found on the head of some flies behind the occelli, can be divergent, parallel, or crossing.

Pre-apical arising just before the tip


pregenital segments.            Terminal abdominal segments to which the aedeagus is attached by connecting membrane; consisting of the 9th and 10th abdominal segments (the last often highly reduced and not distinguishable). See Genital capsule.

pregular area.                         The area in front of the gular sutures (and posterior tentorial pits) and behind the attachments of the mouthparts.

prementum                             Distal region of the labium from which the labial palps and the ligula arise.

prepectus                                A thoracic plate, significant in Hymenoptera. Below the postspiracular sclerite in Symphyta.

prepupa                                   A resting stage seen in some insects before entering the pupal stage.

pretarsal claw                  See Tarsal claw.

pretarsus                             (pl. Pretarsi). The terminal leg segment; usually consisting of paired claws and a median empodium.

pro-.                                                                      Prefix referring to a structure forming part of the prothorax, including fore legs (e.g. procoxa, prosternum, protrochantin, protarsus).

proboscis                                 An elongate feeding organ formed from the mouthparts.

procephalon                                     that section of the head that bears the eyes, antennae and labrum. See gnathocephalon.                    

procoxal cavity.                              The countersunk sclerotized cavity for housing the procoxa; formed from the prosternum and sometimes the propleuron (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga) or hypomeron (Polyphaga); The cavity or housing may be almost completely sclerotized (except where the coxa is joined by membrane), but in most cases it consists of a small sternal shelf, sometimes joined to the pleuron or notum by a slender bar. In some cases, there is no real cavity or housing present, and the coxa is attached externally by a broad membrane.

procoxal rest                    (of mesoventrite). One of a pair of concavities on the anterior edge of the mesoventrite which houses one of the procoxae at rest. Sometimes the procoxal rests continue onto the anterior edge of the mesepisterna.

prognathous                             Mouthparts projecting anteriorly. A horizontal head which has the mouth parts at the front.

proleg                                                  A fleshy stumpy leg seen on some larval insect stages, blackfly larvae and caterpillars are examples.

promesothoracic clicking mechanism.                                A complex jumping mechanism involving a long prosternal process, deep mesoventral cavity and anterior procoxal rest (on the mesoventrite), which occurs in most members of the beetle families Cerophytidae, Eucnemidae, Throscidae and Elateridae (Evans 1972, 1973).

pronotal comb                                 Row of spines on the hind region of the pronotum of some fleas.

pronotal disc.                                   That portion of the prothorax which is visible from above, or that lying above the lateral pronotal carinae when these are present.

pronotal hypomeron.                    See hypomeron.

pronotum.                                          The notum of the prothorax, including the pronotal disc and paired hypomera. The dorsal shield of the thorax.

propleuron                                        (pl. Pleura). The pleuron or lateral wall of the prothorax. In Myxophaga and Polyphaga, the propleuron is more or less reduced and fused to the trochantin, and in the latter group it is not or only slightly visible externally. See Pleurotrochantin, Trochantin.

propodeum                             In Hymenoptera it is the abdominal segment 1 which is incorporated into mesosoma. In ants it is called the epinotum.

prosternal process.                        The posteriorly-projecting, intercoxal process of the prothoracic sternum; the process may be absent or very short, so that the coxal cavities are confluent, or it may extend behind the procoxae and overlap the mesoventrite (in rare cases reaching the metaventrite).

prosternum                        (pl. Prosterna). The major ventral sclerite of the prothorax, joined laterally either to the paired propleura (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga) or paired hypomera (Polyphaga).

prostheca                           (pl. Prosthecae). A membranous (or rarely partly sclerotized), usually setose, structure lying distal to the mola.

prothoracic cavities.                     Paired, broad cavities on the ventrolateral, dorsolateral or anterolateral portions of the prothorax and housing the antennas, antennal clubs, or fore legs.

prothoracic grooves.                     Paired, narrow grooves, usually on the ventrolateral portions of the prothorax and housing the antennae and/or fore legs.

prothorax.                                           The first (anterior) segment of the beetle thorax; usually relatively large and always separated from the meso- and metathorax and independently movable.

proximal                                             (proximad). An adjective (or adverb) denoting position near or at or movement toward the end of an appendage nearest the body.

pruinescent                                      Covered in a whitish bloom.

ptero-                                                   A Greek prefix meaning ‘wing’.

pterostigma                             The name given to the second costal cell of the wing when it is opaque. (Gr. ptero, a wing, and stigma, a mark.) (picture for Odonata)

ptilinal suture                               [see picture]  Diptera-Schizophora. A transverse fissure crossing just above the antennae and extends down laterally  in the form of an inverted U, towards the clypeus. It represents the closed lips of the ptilinum, an eversable sac used in eclosion, and often cuts off a small oval or cresentic frontal lunule above the bases of the antennae.

ptilinalum                                           In cyclorraphous Diptera the ptilinum facilitates escape from the puparium and also enables the insect to burrow to the surface of the debris in which it is buried. The ptilinum is a membranous sac on the front of the head which can be everted by blood pressure while the rest of the cuticle of the head remains relatively soft. In the adult fly its position is identified by the ptilinal suture.

pulivilli                                                 A pair of pads situated between the claws, especially of Diptera.

punctate                                              Marked with minute spots or depressions.

pygidium.                                            The terminal exposed and sclerotized tergite; this may be tergite 7 or 8.