(343UZset) Uzelia setifera Absolon 1901

*oxoniensis (Bagnall, 1914)
*pearmani (Womersley 1925)

Uzelia setifera (Fig. 1) is a scarce dark blue species of up to 1.4 mm in length found on the branches of trees among lichen and under bark. It was first recorded in the UK by Bagnall (1914) as Tetracanthella oxoniensis from Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire but Lawrence (1968) sunk oxoniensis as a junior synonym of setifera. Womersley (1925) described Protanurophorus pearmani from Lawrence Weston near Bristol but Bagnall (1939) sunk this as a junior synonym of setifera. Uzelia setifera is highly distinctive having two anal spines (Fig. 2), empodium of claw absent (Fig. 3), and no furca. It is probably widespread (note Bagnall record from Scotland) but under-recorded as its habitat (up trees) is not sampled routinely by recorders looking for springtails.  Mike McDermott re-collected this species in 2009 (after a gap of 80 years!) by vacuum-sampling an epiphyte community in White Wood, Devon, an area that seems to be a 'hotspot' for this species.  Bizarrely, a single specimen of this species turned up in suspended soil on Peter Shaw's garage roof in Dorking, suggesting it to be widely but thinly spread, always in elevated situations.

 

 

 

Fig. 1: Uzelia setifera of 1.1 mm in length collected from Lawrence Weston near Bristol in April 1925 by H. Womersley.

Fig. 2: Anal spines (arrows) of the same specimen of Uzelia setifera shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3: Foot of leg2 of the same specimen of Uzelia setifera shown in Fig. 1. Note the clavate tenant setae and absence of empodium.

 
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