Answer to the Monday Mystery

What was that mystery structure? All ten points go to FormicidaeFantasy, who guessed it was the base of the antenna. This structure is essentially a ball joint covered with sensory hairs that let the ant measure the position of the appendage.

Here’s a photograph:

Oecophylla longinoda (South Africa)

1 thought on “Answer to the Monday Mystery”

  1. Nice SEM and interesting how the mechanoreceptor setae are crowded against the left edge of each pit, presumably so they can bend down without breaking. I assume a membrane covers the pit or is that an artefact of sputter coating?

    Speaking of artifacts – why is the internal face of the mandible of the Oecophylla on the left grey?

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