Tarsal Attachment Devices in Ants

The pretarsus of arthropods contains two sickle-shaped claws that are used to cling to rough-textured surfaces ([41,42] (Figure 8.2A). Attachment to smooth plant substrates is accomplished by adhesive organs, which are structurally diverse in different insect orders. In ants and bees (Hymenoptera), the adhesive organ (arolium) is an unfoldable pad located between the claws. The adhesive surface of the arolium is relatively smooth and is typically wetted by a fluid secretion, as in many other insects [43,44].

FIGURE 8.2 (A) Pretarsus of Crematogaster (Decacrema) msp.2 with claws (cl) and arolium (ar). (B) Wax crystal surface on M. hypoleuca stem. Scale bars: 50^m (A) and 5^m (B).

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