Antennulae – Definition & Meaning

Antennulae is a term that is commonly used in the field of zoology. It refers to a pair of small, segmented appendages found on the head of crustaceans, such as lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. These antennulae are essential for the crustaceans’ sensory perception, helping them to detect changes in their environment and navigate through their surroundings.


Antennulae are defined as the first pair of antennae found on the head of crustaceans. They are smaller and more segmented than the second pair of antennae, known as antennae. These appendages are used for sensory perception and are essential for the crustaceans’ survival.


The term antennulae is derived from the Latin word “antenna,” which means “sail yard” or “pole.” This term was originally used to describe the long, thin appendages found on the heads of insects, which were thought to resemble the poles used to support sails on ships. Over time, the term was adapted to describe the smaller, segmented antennae found on crustaceans.

Meaning in different dictionaries

In most dictionaries, antennulae are defined as the first pair of antennae found on the head of crustaceans. They are typically described as small, segmented appendages that are used for sensory perception and navigation.


Antennulae are closely associated with the sensory perception and navigation of crustaceans. They are essential for detecting changes in the environment, such as changes in water temperature, salinity, and the presence of food or predators.


There are several synonyms for antennulae, including:

  • Antennules.
  • First antennae.
  • Smaller antennae.


There are no direct antonyms for antennulae, as they are a unique feature found only on crustaceans.

The same root words

The root word “antenna” is found in several other terms related to sensory perception and communication, including:

  • Antennae (the second pair of antennae found on crustaceans).
  • Antennapedia (a gene that controls the development of antennae in insects).
  • Antennal lobe (a brain structure that processes sensory information from antennae).

Example Sentences

  • The lobster’s antennulae were twitching as it searched for food on the ocean floor.
  • Crabs use their antennulae to detect changes in water temperature and salinity.
  • The shrimp’s antennulae were damaged in a recent predator attack, making it difficult for it to navigate through its environment.
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