(001/BRpar) Brachystomella parvula (Schäffer, 1896)

*crassicornis (Schött, 1902)
*maritima Ågren, 1903
*media (Axelson, 1900)
*wahlgreni (Denis, 1924)

Brachystomella parvula is a common and widespread soil species which reaches a length of 1.1 mm.  The empodium is absent from the foot (Fig. 2). The head bears 8+8 ocelli and a PAO (Fig. 3). In cleared specimens, the distinctive mouthparts are highly specific (absence of mandibles; Figs. 4, 5).  In collections of Collembola extracted from soil cores, the experienced eye can spot Brachystomella parvula with its distinctive bluish or reddish-violet colour and teddy-bear like body shape (Fig. 6), but you must clear a few to check their mouthparts to confirm.

 

 

Map for Brachystomella parvula
Furca of Brachystomella parvula

Figure 1: Furca of Brachystomella parvula collected from Sacrewell Farm, Northamptonshire in January 1978 by Peter Lawrence and Brian Pitkin. The dens has five dorsal setae.

Foot of leg3 of Brachystomella parvula

Figure 2: Foot of leg3 of Brachystomella parvula collected from Rothamsted Experimental Station in February 1926 by W.M. Davies.

Eight ocelli and post antennal organ on the head of Brachystomella parvula

Figure 3: Eight ocelli (A-H) and post antennal organ (PAO) on the head of Brachystomella parvula collected from Rothamsted Experimental Station in February 1926 by W.M. Davies .

Head of Brachystomella parvula

Figure 4: Head of Brachystomella parvula collected from Sacrewell Farm, Northamptonshire in January 1978 by Peter Lawrence and Brian Pitkin. The highlighted area is shown at greater magnification in Fig. 5.

Detail of mouthparts Brachystomella parvula

Figure 5: Detail of mouthparts of the specimen shown in Fig. 4. The tips of the maxillae (max) have a distinctive shape. Mandibles are absent.

Brachystomella parvula, c. 1mm long, in a Tullgren extract. They have neither empodium nor anal spines, but you must clear the head to see the mouthparts to confirm the ID.

 
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