(189Enmul) Entomobrya multifasciata (Tullberg, 1871)

*arborea Parfitt, 1891

Entomobrya multifasciata is a widespread and very common species (although curiously, it seems scarce in Cornwall: the first Cornish record is a photo by David Fenwick from September 2013). The species is found in a wide range of habitats and is one of the major colonisers of cereal crops. The pair of triangular patches of pigment pointing forwards on the posterior margin of the fourth abdominal segment (Figs. 1 and 2) are distinctive.  This species has been recorded in the USA, but each one that has been DNA barcoded has proved to be a female Entomobrya nigrocincta (one of the few cases of sexual dimorphic colouration in the Collembola.  Dicyrtominas are also differ between sexes).  It is therefore unclear whether the UK records are the same species as the US (but lacking the dimorphism), or whether the two identical-looking populations are actually quite different species.  The DNA has been collected from both sides of the Atlantic and is currently being analysed - we should know eventually.


Map of Entomobrya multifasciata in the UK. last updated 26 ix 2013

Fig. 1: Entomobrya multifasciata collected from Easton Park, Essex in January 1938 by 'F.G.M.W.' The arrow is pointing towards the pair of forward-facing triangular patches of pigment on the posterior margin of the fourth abdominal segment.

Fig. 2: Entomobrya multifasciata collected from Symondshyde, Herts. in October 1925 by C.H. Jackson. The arrow is pointing towards the forward-facing triangular patch of pigment on the right side of the posterior margin of the fourth abdominal segment.

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