Key to Australian Freshwater and Terrestrial Invertebrates


General anatomy positioning words

Anterior: towards the front, or head, of the animal.
Posterior: towards the back, or abdomen, of the animal.
Dorsal: the upper surface of the animal.
Ventral: the underside surface of the animal.
Lateral: to the side of the animal.

Words that are found in the factsheets, relating to the morphology, biology or ecology of invertebrates

Anamorphic development: the animal grows by a series of larval stages, moulting in between each stage and adding body segments and legs at each moult.
Anamorphis: relating to anomorphic development
Clitellum: a thickened section of the body near the head that secretes a sac in which the eggs are deposited in earthworms and leeches.
Clypeus: a shield-like plate on the face of insects and other arthropods that normally connects the labrum (upper lip) to the head.
Coxa: the first segment of the leg, joining the leg to the body.
Coxal: relating to the coxa.
Coxopleural segment: small, lateral sclerite, adjoining the coxa.
Dorsoventrally flattened: flattened in the dorsal-ventral plane.
Filiform: thread-like. Filiform antennae are thread-like with uniformly sized segments.
Gonopods: external reproductive organs.
Maxillae: paired structures; part of the mouthparts used for manipulating food.
Maxillipeds: appendages modified to function as accessory mouthparts.
Ocelli: (singluar: ocellus) simple visual structures on the head of insects, either instead of, or as accessory vision to more developed eyes.
Operculum: In molluscs, a 'lid' covering the opening of the shell.
Parapodia: (in Annelida) Paired appendages that are found laterally on the body and are unjointed, often with chaetae.
Parenchymella larvae: a solid and compact larva type, with an outer layer of flagellated cells (cells which have a flagellum, a whip-like organelle) and an inner mass of nonflagellated cells.
Peristaltic (contractions): radially symmetric contractions.
Pharynx: part of the digestive and respiratory system.
Pleurites: plates on the lateral side of the thorax.
Podomeres: segments of a limb.
Proboscis: Tubular mouthparts used for feeding and sucking.
Pupa: a life cycle stage in which the animal undergoes a transformation.
Pupoid: relating to pupa.
Receptaculum seminis: an organ of the female reproductive tract.
Sclerite: a hardened body part.
Setae: (singluar: seta) bristle- or hair-like structures.
Sexual dimorphism: where the male and female of one species are morphologically different.
Spermatophore: a capsule created by the male containing the spermatozoa, generally transfered to the female during copulation.
Spiracle: tracheal openings in the exoskeleton, used for respiration.
Sterum: the sternum is the ventral (lower) portion of the cephalothorax. It consists of a single sclerite situated between the coxa, opposite the carapace.
Tenacipeds legs of body segments 14 and 15, possibly used for mating and capture of prey in the Lithobiomorpha.
Tergite: the hardened plates that make up the tergum.
Tergum: the dorsal section of an arthropod, exluding the head.
Troglobitic: living in near or complete darkness, underneath the ground or in caves.
Parthenogenic: able to produce offspring without fertilisation.
Eversible: able to be turned outward.
Oviparous: an animal that lays eggs, with little or no embryonic development within the mother.
Detrivore: an animal which eats decomposing animal or plant matter.
Polyphagous: feeding on many different types of food.