The more primitive forms (Entomostraca) are anomomeristic, presenting great variety as to number of somites, form of appendages, and tagmatic grouping; the higher forms (Malacostraca) are nomomeristic, showing in front of the telson twenty somites, of which the six hinder carry swimmerets and the five next in front ambulatory limbs.
A characteristic, comparable in value to that presented by the pygidial shield of Arachnida, is the frequent development of a pair of long appendages by the penultimate somite, which with the telson form a trifid, or, when that is small, a bifid termination to the body.
Tels, the post-anal spine (not the telson as the lettering would seem to imply, but only its post-anal portion).
In Hemiptera this telson is absent, and the anal orifice is placed quite at the termination of the eleventh segment.
A character of great diagnostic value in the more primitive Arachnida is the tendency of the chitinous investment of the tergal surface of the telson to unite during growth with that of the free somites in front of it, so as to form a pygidial shield or posterior carapace, often comprising as many as fifteen somites (Trilobites, Limulus).
This telson may enlarge, it may possibly even become internally and sternally developed as partially separate somites, and the tergum may remain without trace of somite formation, or, as appears to be the case in Limulus, the telson gives rise to a few well-marked somites (mesosoma and two others) and then enlarges without further trace of segmentation, whilst the chitinous integument which develops in increasing thickness on the terga as growth advances welds together the unsegmented telson and the somites in front of it, which were previ ously marked by separate tergal thickenings.