Thursday, 8 March 2018

Neelidae: Megalothorax minimus

The taxonomic Class Collembola is divided into four Orders:
  • Poduromorpha
  • Entomobryomorpha
  • Symphypleona
The fourth Order, Neelipleona, is contested but widely accepted. Only three species are currently known occur in the UK:

Family Neelidae
Genus Neelides Caroli 1912
Neelides minutus: Probably rare, overlooked as tiny.

Genus Neelus Folsom, 1896
Neelus murinus: Moderately common, mainly in caves.

Genus Megalothorax Willem 1900
Megalothorax minimus: Widespread, probably common but overlooked as tiny.

This specimen of Megalothorax minimus was obtained by floating springtails from a garden soil sample. It has the characteristic stubby antenna of Megalothorax minimus but should be labelled Megalothorax minimus sensu lato as full identification of M. minimus requires scanning electron microscope level images. This is an extremely common species but overlooked because of its size (and difficulty of identification).

Megalothorax minimus?

Megalothorax minimus
Furcula visible.

Megalothorax minimus

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome, I will respond as soon as I can.