One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Relating to a tergum of an arthropod.
- ‘The cuticle of juvenile stages is thin and weakly sclerotized, and sternal and tergal plates are barely recognizable in the light microscope.’
- ‘They also discovered a contact sex pheromone in the female's tergal gland - the first time such a pheromone has been identified for any termite species.’
- ‘In places, portions of the sternites can be seen where the tergal cuticle has broken away.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin tergum ‘back’ + -al.
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