Symphylan Checklist

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)

                    Family Scutigerellidae
                    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
                    Family Scolopendrellidae
                    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

Page by Tony Barber                                                                                  Image by Christian Owen