Hair Shape

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Lattke et al. 2018. Figure 1. Hair shape terms. A – subspatulate; B – linear; C – oblong; D – spatulate; E – ovate; F – reniform; G – lanceolate.

Lattke et al. (2018) - For describing hair shapes, the terms defined by Bolton (2000) are used as well as some botanical terms used for describing leaf shapes (Harris & Harris, 2001). Despite their origins in botanical morphology they are readily applicable to ant hairs. The following terms describe hair shapes:

  • clavate – club-shaped, with a cylindrical basal section and a swollen, but not flattened distal section. Similar in outline to a spatulate hair, but the latter is flattened.
  • lanceolate – lance-shaped, with the widest part basad (Fig. 1G).
  • linear – long and narrow, much more so than oblong, with parallel to subparallel sides (Fig. 1B).
  • oblong – flattened, two to four times longer than broad with parallel or subparallel sides (Fig. 1C).
  • ovate – egg-shaped, flattened, with the widest part basad (Fig. 1E).
  • reniform – kidney-shaped, flattened and widest close to midlength, the base is between two shallow convex lobes and the lateral and apical margins describe a broad convexity (Fig. 1F).
  • spatulate – elongate and flattened, gradually tapering basad with the widest part close to the apex (Fig. 1D).
  • subspatulate – similar to spatulate but with a lesser degree of tapering, not exactly oblong but not spatulate (Fig. 1A). Many of the descriptions and diagnoses describe outlines of particular body part margins; these (in particular the shape of certain teeth and hairs) are best seen by using reflected background lighting

References