This scanning electron micrograph (SEM) is the second 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 87X, what this SEM reveals is the anatomical configuration of what is termed the leg's 'tarsal chain', which comprises the 'tarsus', and 'pretarsus' or 'claw'. Note 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'.
CDC/ Janice Haney Carr
December 2, 2012