(344VEarb) Vertagopus arboreus (Linnaeus, 1758)

*fuliginosus (Templeton, 1835)
*ianthinus (Salmon, 1955)

Vertagopus arboreus is a widespread and common bluish violet species that reaches a length of 1.8 mm. Almost all the records are from the trunks of trees, under dead bark and lichens, and in bird nests.  Vertagopus spp. are typical members of canopy Collembola communities, along with Entomobrya, Lepidocyrtus, Orchesella and Pogonognathellus.


Tibiotarsi 1, 2 and 3 possess 2:3:3 clavate tenant setae respectively (see Fig. 1) and the mucro has four teeth (Fig. 2). The furca of Vertagopus arboreus is relatively longer than that of the greyish-brown Vertagopus cinereus. In addition, Vertagopus arboreus does NOT possess setae on the ventral side of the thorax (th2, th3) or on the second abdominal segment (abd2) whereas Vertagopus cinereus has 3-10 + 3-10 ventral setae on each of th2 and th3, and a group of 5-12 ventral setae on abd2.




Fig. 1: Foot of leg3 of Vertagopus arboreus collected from the trunk of a Laburnum tree in Ambleside, Cumbria in November 1976 by M.E. Bacchus. The three clavate tenant setae (*) are clearly visible.

Fig. 2: Mucros of a specimen of Vertagopus arboreus collected from Boyle, Sligo in October 1950 by Peter Lawrence. The four teeth can be clearly seen in the mucro orientated laterally (*). The other mucro is seen from the dorsal side (teeth pointing upwards); the tiny apical tooth is hidden from view.

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