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one of numerous movable hairlike pectinate or hooked protuberances of the cuticle in invertebrates. Chaetae have many purposes. In some invertebrates they help support the body during digging (Echiuroidae, many annelid worms, Pogonophora) or crawling (annelid worms). In other invertebrates it serves a protective function (certain polychaetes and brachiopods), and in still others it is used in capturing prey (chaetognaths). In polychaetes, the chaetae are part of the primitive extremities—parapodia. Each chaeta consists of a single cell on the floor of a cutaneous invagination. The chaetae of arthropods are hairlike or feathery protuberances of the chitinous cuticle; they are sense organs (mainly of touch) and sometimes help protect the body, especially the wings, from excessive wetness. Some ticks and mites still preserve primitive metamerism in the arrangement of their chaetae.

References in periodicals archive ?
keulderae also has companion chaetae accompanying the hooded hooks for only the last two chaetigers (the presence of a winged chaeta with only the hooded hooks on the right neuropodia on chaetigers 7 and 8 in one specimen suggests that this is an anomaly), while the other two species have companion chaetae with the anterior hooded hooks.
Ant IV with bilobed apical vesicle with additional bifurcate chaeta beside it.
tergum I with 7-9+7-9 chaetae, chaeta m absent (i2-, Th.