The aculeus is the elongate, sclerotized, apical part of the ovipositor. Its base is attached to the eversible membrane and these can be retracted into the oviscape. If the aculeus tip is not everted, the aculeus must be dissected to examine the tip. The aculeus consists of an elongate 8th tergite, a pair of slender, elongate 8th sternites, which are often difficult to see, and the cerci and intermediate parts which are fused to the 8th tergite. The aculeus tip is the apical part of the aculeus, distal to the apices of the 8th sternites and the cloacal opening. The dorsal and ventral surfaces of the tip are relatively smooth in most species, but some species have ridges or lobes.
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