(058/LAlon) Lathriopyga longiseta (Caroli, 1912)

*hystrix (Bagnall, 1940)

Lathriopyga longiseta is a highly distinctive purple collembolan (Fig. 1) known as Neanura hystrix in earlier literature. The body setae are very long (Figs. 2, 3), there are two ocelli on each side of the head (though these are hard to see, being partly hidden among the cauliflower-like tubercles that cover its head and much of the body).  There is no furca, and the growth form of the setae is distinctive, with a solitary thick yellow seta projecting from the middle of each tubercle on the body.

 Lathriopyga longiseta has recently turned up in several sites including damp woodland and ornamental gardens and is likely to be present widely throughout the UK. In September 2003, Steve Hopkin thought it noteworthy that he had found several specimens on the underside of fallen branches on the ground at Trengwainton Gardens (National Trust) in West Cornwall.  In 2009 Suzi Crone found the first specimens for Ireland at two widely separated locations in Belfast, and Elva Robinson found one in an ants nest on the Lancashire coast, suggesting that this species is expanding its range.




Lathriopyga longiseta

Fig. 1 : Lathriopyga longiseta (1.5 mm in length) collected on 31 March 2000 from Marsland Valley near Hartland, N. Devon.

Lathriopyga longiseta preserved in 70% alcohol

Fig. 2 : Lathriopyga longiseta preserved in 70% alcohol. The green box indicates the region of the body shown in a different specimen in Fig. 3. Note the long setae on the body. This individual was collected from Abbotsbury Gardens, Dorset in April 1996.

Lathriopyga longiseta collected from Goodstone Woods

Fig. 3 : Lathriopyga longiseta collected from Goodstone Woods, Devon in May 1959 by W. Maxwell. The setae on the body are about twice as long as the length of the first abdominal segment (abd1).

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