Thursday, 22 March 2018

These Three Are Not The Same

A local recorder asked if I would confirm the I.D. of some springtails they had collected in Leicestershire so they could be recorded. Although they were dead (and a bit desiccated) when I received them, they turned out to be three different species.

The first (and largest) was fairly obviously Pogonognathellus longicornis:
Pogonognathellus longicornis

However, as the antennae were broken, I confirmed this by looking at the structure of the foot. In P. longicornis, the empodium is about 1.2 times as long as the claw due a thin filament on its tip (P. flavescens has no filament on any empodium):
Pogonognathellus longicornis - Empodium

The medium-sized specimen had some transverse banding on each segment and I thought it could be Tomocerus vulgaris:
Tomocerus vulgaris

To confirm this, I checked the structure of the spines on the dens of the furcula. Although this isn't the best picture, the spines were simple (not tridentate as in T. minor) so this is indeed T. vulgaris:
Tomocerus vulgaris - Dens

I guessed that the smallest specimen was probably Tomocerus minor:
Tomocerus minor

Indeed, it had tridentate spines on the dens of the furcula, confirming the I.D.:
Tomocerus minor - dens

Three very common species, but now formally recorded in an area of Leicestershire where no-one has ever recorded any springtails before! They're out there!

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