(198LEcya) Lepidocyrtus cyaneus Tullberg, 1871

  *anglicanus Jackson, 1926
  *purpureus Lubbock, 1873

Lepidocyrtus cyaneus is small species (maximum length 1.5 mm) with blue pigment present throughout the body (Figs. 1, 2 and 3). The second thoracic segment is not prominent and there are no scales on the legs or the antennae.

Lepidocyrtus cyaneus is one of the most common species of springtail in and is ubiquitous under rotting wood lying on leaf litter and soil in most parts of Britain and Ireland.  It is often turning up on online photo sites, such as here but separating it from Lepidocyrtus lignorum (qv) requires checking whether scales are present on ant1-2, which is not (quite) as hard as it sounds since the scales give an iridescent sheen on a good image.


Elva Robinson has been collecting Collembola in ants nests (passim, as part of wider studies), and in addition to Cyphoderus albinus the nests have consistently contained multiple specimens of Lepidocyrtus cyaneus, despite this species not being considered a myrmecophile.




Fig. 1 (above): Lepidocyrtus cyaneus (1.2 mm in length) from a garden in Reading.

Fig. 2: Lepidocyrtus cyaneus (1.2 mm in length) collected from Lackmore Wood, Reading in June 1987 by M.N. Whetton.

Fig. 3: Lepidocyrtus cyaneus (1.2 mm in length) from a garden in Reading.

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