Thelyphonida, in dorsal view, with pedipalps highlighted in green
Male Striped lynx spider showing enlarged pedipalps

Pedipalps (commonly shortened to palps or palpi), are the second pair of appendages of the prosoma in the subphylum Chelicerata. They are traditionally thought to be homologous with mandibles in Crustacea and insects, although more recent studies (e.g. using Hox genes) suggest they are probably homologous with the crustacean second antennae.

Chelicerate pedipalps are appendages of six articles: the coxae, a single trochanter, the femur, a short patella, the tibia, and the tarsus. In spiders the coxae frequently have extensions called maxillae or gnathobases, which function as mouth parts with or without some contribution from the coxae of the anterior legs. The limbs themselves may be simple tactile organs outwardly resembling the legs, as in spiders, or chelate weapons of great size, as in the scorpions. Comparative studies of pedipalpal morphology may suggest that leg-like pedipalps are primitive in Arachnida. At present, the only reasonable alternative to this view is to assume that xiphosurans reflect the morphology of the primitive arachnid pedipalp and to conclude that this appendage is primitively chelate. Chelate or sub chelate pedipalps are found in several arachnid groups, i.e. Ricinulei, Thelyphonida, Scorpiones and Pseudoscorpiones, but the chelae in most of these taxa may not be homologous with those found in Xiphosura. The pedipalps are distinctly raptorial in Amblypygi, Thelyphonida, Schizomida and some Opiliones belonging to the laniatorid group.

Spider pedipalps

Pedipalps of spiders have the same segmentation as the legs, but the tarsus is undivided, and the pretarsus has no lateral claws. In sexually mature male spiders, the final segment of the pedipalp, the tarsus, develops into a complicated structure (sometimes called the palpal organ or bulb) that is used to transfer sperm to the female seminal receptacles during mating. The details of this structure vary considerably between different groups of spiders and are useful for identifying species.[1][2]

The cymbium is a spoon-shaped structure located at the end of the spider pedipalp which supports the palpal organ.[1] The cymbium may also be used as a stridulatory organ in spider courtship.[3]


  1. ^ a b Comstock, John Henry (1920) [First published 1912]. The Spider Book. Doubleday, Page & Company. pp. 106–121. 
  2. ^ Foelix, Rainer F. (1996). Biology of Spiders (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 182–185. 
  3. ^ "Seismic signal production in a wolf spider: parallel versus serial multi-component signals", Journal of Experimental Biology.
  • Savory, T. 1977. Arachnida. 2nd edition. U.S. Edition published by Academic Press INC. LTD.340 Pp.
  • Snodgrass, R.E. 1971. A Textbook Arthropod Anatomy. Published by Hafner Publishing Company, INC. 363 Pp.
  • Torre-Bueno, J.R. 1989. The Torre-Bueno Glossary of Entomology/ compiled by Stephen W. Nichols; including Supplement A by George S. Tulloch. Published by The New York Entomological Society in cooperation with the American Museum of Natural History. 840 Pp.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pedipalp — Ped i*palp, n. [Cf. F. p[ e]dipalpe.] (Zo[ o]l.) One of the Pedipalpi. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pedipalp — [ped′i palp΄] n. [ModL pedipalpus: see PEDI & PALPUS] either of the leglike second pair of appendages of spiders and other arachnids, variously developed for grasping, sensing, fertilizing, etc …   English World dictionary

  • pedipalp — noun Either of a second pair of appendages, near the mouth of a spider, homologous to the mandibles in crustaceans. The defensive movements, on the other hand, involve the whole of the pedipalp being drawn in towards the midline …   Wiktionary

  • pedipalp — noun Etymology: New Latin pedipalpus, from ped , pes foot + palpus palpus Date: 1826 either of the second pair of appendages of an arachnid (as a spider) that are borne near the mouth and are often modified for a special (as sensory) function …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pedipalp — См. pedipalpus …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • pedipalp — pedipalpal, pedipalpate /ped euh pal payt/, adj. /ped euh palp /, n. 1. (in arachnids) one member of the usually longer pair of appendages immediately behind the chelicerae. 2. any member of the arachnid order Pedipalpida. [1820 30; < NL… …   Universalium

  • pedipalp — [ pɛdɪpalp, pi:dɪpalp] noun Zoology each of the second pair of appendages attached to the cephalothorax of most arachnids. Origin C19: from mod. L. pedipalpi (plural), from L. pes, ped foot + palpus palp …   English new terms dictionary

  • pedipalp — ped·i·palp …   English syllables

  • pedipalp — ped•i•palp [[t]ˈpɛd əˌpælp[/t]] n. ivt either of the pair of variously adapted appendages between the jaws and first walking legs of spiders and other arachnids • Etymology: 1820–30; < NL Pedipalpus. See pedi , palp …   From formal English to slang

  • pedipalp — /ˈpɛdipælp/ (say pedeepalp) noun the second paired appendage of an arachnid, sometimes used as a weapon or as an organ of touch for feeding …  

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