(130 SPfur) Supraphorura furcifera (Börner, 1901)

*celtica (Bagnall, 1937)
*furcifer (Axelson, 1905)
*?scotica (Bagnall, 1935)

Supraphorura furcifera (up to 1.9 mm in length) is white and blind. The species is easy to recognise under the microscope as it has a distinctive vestigial furca (Figs. 1, 2). The empodium of the foot is about the same length as the claw on which there is a small tooth (Fig. 3). There are three pseudocelli (PSO) behind each antenna and the Post Antennal Organ has about 20 simple vesicles (Fig. 4). There are two anal spines (Fig. 5). Rarely, one of these is missing (Fig. 6). The PSO formula is typically 32/012/23233 (a median pair of PSO on th2 and abd3 are absent).
     Supraphorura furcifera appears to be widely distributed in soil and leaf litter although it is odd that there are no records from Wales and South West England.

 

 

 

Fig. 1: Vestigial furca of Supraphorura furcifera collected from Savernake Forest in October 1977 by D. Morgan.

Fig. 2: Vestigial furca at another level of focus of Supraphorura furcifera collected from Savernake Forest in October 1977 by D. Morgan.

Fig. 3: Foot of the third leg of the same specimen of Supraphorura furcifera shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 : Post Antennal Organ (PAO) and three adjacent pseudocelli (*) of the same specimen of Supraphorura furcifera shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 5: Anal spines (*) of the same specimen of Supraphorura furcifera shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 6 : 'Mutant' specimen of Supraphorura furcifera with only one anal spine (*) collected from Limpsfield, Surrey in September 1977 by Brian Pitkin. The fifth abdominal segment (abd5) has three dorsal pseudocelli (PSO) on each side.

 
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