(359BOhor) Bourletiella hortensis (Fitch, 1863)

*lineata (Reuter, 1876)
*signata (Nicolet, 1841)

Bourletiella hortensis is bluish black in colour and is common and widespread. It is one of the few Collembola that is regarded as a pest and is often found in association with damaged seedlings. The species has been implicated as a cause of 'strangle' disease in mangolds.

The empodium of the foot is shorter than the claw and bears a clearly separate filament (Fig. 1). The mucro is spoon-shaped (Fig. 2) and the fourth antennal segment (ant4) is subdivided into seven subsegments. In the male, the thick setae on the sixth abdominal segment point in different directions. The sub anal appendages (SAAs) of the female are paddle-shaped when viewed from above (Fig. 3, 4).

Note: on p. 41 and 139 of Steve Hopkin's book on Collembola he refers to this species of springtail having mating dances on leaves in his garden.  In fact the species filmed dancing were Deuterosminthurus pallipes.



Fig. 1: Claw of the first leg of Bourletiella hortensis collected from Mogerhanger, Bedfordshire in May 1958 (collector not known).

Fig. 2: Furca of the same specimen of Bourletiella hortensis shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3: Sub-anal appendage (SAA) seen in profile on the left side of the sixth abdominal segment of the same female specimen of Bourletiella hortensis shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 4: Same area as Fig. 3 at a different level of focus. The SAA on the right side when viewed from above is paddle-shaped.

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