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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 ?
Surstylus with upper blade of bifurcated tip swollen and lower one shorter; cercus with ventral appendix, which is directed posterior (Figs.
Sprinkling water over the offered insect or breaking the insect's cuticle a bit by snipping a cercus or antenna to release a drop of hemolymph can induce spiders to feed when the liquid touches the spider's chelicerae.
Epandrium globose, foramen left lateral, near dorsal margin; hypandrium and phallus simple, without ornamentation; lateral epandrial lobe short, with two apical setae and one basiventral seta posteriad; surstylus divided into two lobes; postgonite present; cercus short.
3): Epandrium about as long as wide, apically with 1 slender lateral process; surstylus wide, deeply bifurcated; cercus large with acute apex.
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.
1F): Tergite 9 short, not extending to apex of gonocoxite, caudal margin rounded; cercus short, extending beyond margin of tergite 9; sternite 9 broad, with apicolateral processes and median excavation.
Cercus heavily sclerotised, somewhat arched dorsally; bearing several spine-like setae.
8 times as long as dm-cu; cercus widened with blunt apical margin (Fig.
141); base of surstylus with a few scattered black setulae, shorter than width of cercus (Figs 144, 145) .
It is characterized by the following features: neck arising high on occiput; head extending obliquely forward with distinct clypeus and gena; wing infuscate with clear spots; fore tarsomere 2 much longer than tarsomere 3 or 4; subepandrial sclerite extended beyond base of clasping cercus (Sinclair 1995; Yang et al.