Ant Anatomy

Ant. Featured photo by Bent Tranberg on Flickr.

Unlike most insects, ants have four sections: the head, thorax, petiole, and gaster. Normally insects have three: the head, thorax, and abdomen. The head and thorax are the same as in all insects, but what are the petiole and gaster?

The gaster is the same as the abdomen, but myrmecologists call it the gaster. Of course, people will understand what you mean if you say the wrong term, but the scientific way to refer to it is the gaster.

The petiole is the thin segment connecting the thorax and gaster. Usually, it is overlooked because it is so thin and small, but it is a part of an ant’s anatomy. Any insect without it is not an ant.

Hope this helps, tell me if I am wrong anywhere!

Ant Anatomy
Photo from by D. Magdalena Sorger, under Teaching Resources.

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