Arista (insect anatomy)

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Antenna. Brachycera Diptera

In insect anatomy the arista is a simple or variously modified apical or subapical bristle, arising from the third antennal segment. It is the evolutionary remains of antennal segments, and may sometimes show signs of segmentation. These segments are called aristameres.

The arista may be bare, sometime appearing no more than a simple bristle, pubescent - covered in short hairs, or plumose - covered in long hairs.

The presence of an arista is a feature of the Diptera suborder Brachycera and may be especially well-developed in some species. It is known to contain thermo and hygroreceptors in Diptera that helps the flies to detect changes in temperature and moisture.[1][2]


  1. ^ Foelix, R. F., Stocker, R. F. & Steinbrecht, R.A. (1989). Fine structure of a sensory organ in the arista of Drosophila melanogaster and some other dipterans. Cell Tissue Research, 258, 277–287.
  2. ^