Definition of cercus in English:


Line breaks: cer¦cus
Pronunciation: /ˈsəːkəs

noun (plural cerci /-kʌɪ/)

  • Either of a pair of small appendages at the end of the abdomen of some insects and other arthropods.
    More example sentences
    • They have no eyes, antennae, or caudal cerci but have a telson tail, which is common in crustaceans but absent in other hexapods.
    • By analogy with modern arthropods this zone was inferred to lie at the anterior of a terminal ventral body segment-the telosoma and the antenniform cerci of Olenoides serratus might be interpreted as belonging to that segment.
    • These species are notable for the plesiomorphic retention of venation (albeit already quite reduced) in their tegmina, segmented cerci, and pentamerous tarsi.


early 19th century: from modern Latin, from Greek kerkos 'tail'.

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