(357NLmur) Neelus murinus (Folsom, 1896)

Neelus murinus is a moderately common species that is found almost exclusively in caves, though Peter Shaw has found it reaching in high numbers in dense moss in a quarry on Box Hill.. It is blind and is slightly larger than the other Neelidae, occasionally reaching 1.0 mm in length. The empodium of the foot is about half as long as the claw (Fig. 1) and the edges of the mucro are serrated (Fig. 2). The third (ant3) and fourth (ant4) antennal segments are clearly separate with ant 3 being of similar width to ant 4 (Fig. 3). The sensory setae on ant4 are long(Fig. 3). The ventral tube bears a small posterior projection (a character shared with Neelides minutus, but not with Megalothorax minimus).




Fig. 1: Foot of leg3 of Neelus murinus collected from a cave at Coombe Martin, Devon in October 1955 by M.E. Bacchus.

Fig. 2: Terminal part of the furca of the same specimen of Neelus murinus shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3: Antenna of the same specimen of Neelus murinus shown in Fig. 1. The third (ant3) and fourth (ant4) segments are clearly separate. The sensory setae are at least as long as the width of ant4.

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