(196EMmyr) Entomobryoides myrmecophilus (Reuter, 1886)

Entomobryoides myrmecophilus is a very rare species which is reputed to be found only in association with ants. The only two literature records support this. The first record by Womersley (1928) was a single specimen from a 'bone works' in Bristol 'along with Ponera punctatissima Roger'. The second, again reported by Womersley (1930) was of specimens taken by Donisthorpe 'in his garden at Putney with Acanthomyops (Donisthorpea) niger L.'.
There is single specimen in the NHML slide collection which fits the description of Entomobryoides myrmecophilus but it is in rather poor condition.. The determination was by Ken Christiansen and the label (rather frustratingly) reads 'Disused fridge, London' with no other locality information or date. The antennae are darker than the pale body (Fig. 1) which is clothed in very long thick setae, although these are not obvious in this specimen as they have doubled back against the cuticle during mounting. The inner side of the tibiotarsus bears four smooth setae in addition to the 'ciliated' setae (Fig. 2). The claw is long and narrow (Fig. 3).
Entomobryoides myrmecophilus should be looked for in ant nests along with the two Cyphoderus species known to occur here.

 

 

 

 

Fig. 1 (above): Entomobryoides myrmecophilus (2.2 mm in length) from a 'Disused fridge, London' (collector not known). Note that the antennae (ant) are darker than the body.

Fig. 2: Tibiotarsus of the same specimen of Entomobryoides myrmecophilus shown in Fig. 1. The inner side of the tibiotarsus bears four smooth setae (s) in addition to the 'ciliated' setae. emp, empodium.

Fig. 3: Foot of the same leg of Entomobryoides myrmecophilus shown in Fig. 2. emp, empodium.

 
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