Symphyla of Britain and Ireland
Somewhat resembling miniature whitish centipedes, symphylans are typically up to about 8 mm long and can often be seen running rapidly over the soil surface when stones are turned over. They occur in all sorts of soils and can be present in large numbers (up to 80 million per acre in one estimate). They can sometimes become a serious greenhouse or outdoor pest attacking the roots of young plants.
Antennae are prominent, with 5-60 segments and very flexible; eyes are absent. There are 12 leg pairs but the first pair is often much reduced and not visible. The rear end bears a pair of prominent conical cerci with setae.
Edwards, C.A. (1959). A revision of the British Symphyla. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 132: 403-439.
Hopkin, S.P. & Roberts, A.W. (1988). Symphyla – the least studied of the most interesting soil animals. Bulletin of the British Myriapod Group 5: 28-34.
Check list after Edwards (1959) & Hopkin & Roberts (1988)
Scutigerella linsleyi Michelbacher, 1942 - common
Scutigerella palmonii Michelbacher, 1942 - common
Scutigerella immaculata (Newport, 1845) - common
Scutigerella lineatus Edwards, 1959 - rare
Scutigerella causeyae Michelbacher, 1942 - common
Hanseniella unguiculata (Hansen, 1903) - inside hothouses
Hanseniella calderia (Hansen, 1903) - inside hothouses
Neoscutigerella hanseni (Bagnall, 1913) - rare
Symphyllelopsis subnuda (Hansen, 1903) - quite common
Symphyllelopsis arvenorum (Ribaut, 1931) - quite common
Scolopendrella notacantha (Gervais, 1844) - rare
Symphylella isabellae (Grassi, 1886) - common
Symphylella hintoni Edwards, 1959 - common
Symphylella vulgaris (Hansen, 1903) - common
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