One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The sucking organ or proboscis of an insect or crustacean.
- ‘The feeding structures of lice are complex, including the haustellum, a proboscis-like tube with teeth, which is used to pierce the host's skin.’
- ‘It is about 4-5 cm long, and has a kind of ‘hook’ at the head, which is where the moth's tongue, or haustella, is formed.’
- ‘Adult mouthparts are reduced, with mandibles essentially absent, but the maxillary and labial palps, and often the haustellum, are prominent.’
Early 19th century: modern Latin diminutive of haustrum ‘scoop’, from haust- ‘drawn in’, from the verb haurire.
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