The ventral surface of an insect body. Sclerite of this surface are termed sternites. In Lepidoptera the ventral surface of the thorax is severely compressed and envaginated and so the sternites are virtually invisible
The ventral division of a body segment, which may be subdivided into sternites; usually only refers to the segments of the abdomen/metasoma and to the prothorax. The sterna of the meso thorax and metathorax are considered to be invaginated within the thorax.
Gr. Sternon the male breast, a sword shaped bone in the chest composed of several fused segements, forming the central anterior wall of the thorax and having the costal cartilages of the upper 10 ribs articulating at its sides and the clavicles at its upper end. It consists of of the manubrium, body and xiphoid process.