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 head-shield is succeeded by a varying number of free segments, each of which consists of a medium convex tergal piece and a pair of arched lateral plates, the pleura, of which there is one on each side.
The tergal and pleural elements of the pygidium are generally well marked.
They are also well marked on the cephalic shield, the tergal elements being represented by a median axial elevated area showing indistinct signs of segmentation, and a lateral unsegmented plate, the gena, which carries the eyes.
In the majority of Trilobites this groove passes backwards from the anterior or anterolateral edge of this plate to its posterior or postero-lateral border, dividing it into an inner portion continuous with the flabellum and fused tergal regions, and an outer portion bearing the eye.