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 (sûr′kəs, kĕr′-)
n. pl. cer·ci (sûr′sī, -kī, kĕr′kē)
Either of a pair of appendages located near the tip of the abdomen in many insects and certain other arthropods, usually having a sensory function.

[New Latin, from Greek kerkos, tail.]


n, pl -ci (-siː)
(Zoology) 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]


(ˈsɜr kəs, ˈkɛr-)

n., pl. cer•ci (ˈsɜr saɪ, ˈkɛr ki)
one of a pair of usu. jointed feelers at the rear of the abdomen of some insects.
[1820–30; < New Latin < Greek kérkos tail]
cer′cal, adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
02 mm wide (n=3), striate except near basis, setulose basally; cercus setose and secondarily lobed; hypoproct narrow, conspicuously longer than cercus, deeply bilobed, and setose; aedeagus and hypoproct subequal in length, aedeagus 0.
Male: sternite IV with similar width and height; sternite V "V-shaped"; cercus and surstylus with almost the same length of the aedeagus.
Surstylus with upper blade of bifurcated tip swollen and lower one shorter; cercus with ventral appendix, which is directed posterior (Figs.
3-5): dark brown; tergite 9 not produced beyond apex of gonocoxite, lateral margins of proximal 1/2 straight, slightly divergent, lateral margins of distal 1/2 convergent, posterior margin rounded; sternite 9 with conspicuous, elongate, narrow posteromedian projection extending to gonocoxite midlength; sternite 10 slightly visible, spiculate, produced beyond base of cerci; cercus slender, divergent.
6): tergite 9 short, not extending to apex of gonocoxite, posterior margin rounded; cercus short, extending beyond margin of tergite 9; sternite 9 broad, with shallow posteromedial excavation, proximal 1/2 yellowish, distal 1/2 dark brown.
To measure cerci, I removed the right cercus from each frozen male's abdomen, placed it in a labeled tube, and returned the animal to the freezer for later molecular analysis.
Male cercus thick at base, narrowing towards and gradually transforming into apical third; moderately curved with spinule at tip Fig.
occidentalis Sturtevant, 1954): epandrium and surstyli connected with internal structures of terminalia; cercus moderately well sclerotised, longer than wide, porrect posteriorly, not narrowed apically, bearing several moderately long setae, but lacking stout, tooth-like setae at apex; surstyli fused with ventral margin of epandrium, asymmetrical or symmetrical, narrow and rounded apically, bearing sparse, short setulae on apical half; a well-sclerotised process joining base of surstylus; gonite distinct and comparatively long, tapered ventrally, shorter than surstylus.