One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The dorsal sclerite or tergum of the prothorax of an insect, which in certain groups such as coleopterans (beetles) and orthopterans (crickets, etc.) forms a protective shield over the thorax.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William Shuckard (?1803–1868), entomologist. From German Pronotum from pro- + ancient Greek νῶτον. For note on parallel formations see mesonotum.
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