[sur-kuh s, ker-]
- one of a pair of appendages at the rear of the abdomen of certain insects and other arthropods, serving as tactile organs.
Origin of cercus
1820–30; < New Latin < Greek kérkos tail
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cerci
Fighting between sexually excited males resulted in injury to their legs, wings, cerci, and other parts of the body.
Some of these males attacked other males and a female that were introduced, by biting their legs and cerci.
Cercopoda: jointed foot-like appendages of the last abdominal segment; also applied like cerci.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
The carabid larva is an active well-armoured grub with the legs and cerci variable in length.
The cerci appear to have been long, slender, very spinose organs much like the antennules, but stiff rather than flexible.The Appendages, Anatomy, and Relationships of Trilobites
Percy Edward Raymond
- one of a pair of sensory appendages at the tip of the abdomen of some insects and other arthropods
C19: from New Latin, from Greek kerkos tail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- A stiff hairlike structure.
- Either of a pair of terminal, dorsolateral sensory appendages of certain insects, such as the female mosquito.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.