(093/KAbur) Kalaphorura burmeisteri (Lubbock, 1873)

*tuberculata (Moniez, 1891)

Kalaphorura burmeisteri is a distinctive species (up to 3.1 mm in length) found under fallen branches and among leaf litter (Figs. 1 & 2). It is often recorded during the winter months and is active under snow. With the exception of records from Wensley, Yorkshire by Brown (1918), and Edinburgh by Bagnall (1937), all localities are south of a line drawn through Anglesey and The Wash. Most authors regard Kalaphorura tuberculata (Moniez, 1891) as a junior synonym of Kalaphorura burmeisteri. Kalaphorura bearei (Bagnall, 1937) (wrongly placed in this genus by Salmon (1959)) is a species of Onychiurus (Steve examined the holotype), but its exact identity is uncertain. 

The anal spines are prominent (Fig. 3), there is a vestigial furca consisting of two small bumps (Fig. 4) and the post-antennal organ consists of two rows of elongate vesicles (Fig. 5). The empodium of the foot is expanded at the base (Fig. 6) and there are two pseudocelli near the base of each antenna (Fig. 7).

 

Unusually among the white 'Onychiurids', this species may be recognised visually by its distinctive shape.  The combination of characters to look for are:
1. a 'Michelin-man' habitus (the body segments distinctly rounded laterally in dorsal aspect) 2. a proportional large head with distinctly clublike antennae 3. a distinctly tuberculate cuticula (even visible at 5x magnification) 4. abd.6 distinctly elongated and longer than abd.5 and bearing long anal spines

 

See for example this picture, taken in Worthing, Sussex, 24-12-2006 by Brian Valentine.

 

 

 

Map Kalaphorura burmeisteri
Kalaphorura burmeisteri

Fig. 1 (above): Kalaphorura burmeisteri of 3 mm in length collected from a garden in Reading.

Kalaphorura burmeisteri

Fig. 2: The same specimen on its back.

Prominent anal spines of Kalaphorura burmeisteri

Fig. 3: Prominent anal spines of Kalaphorura burmeisteri collected from Tring, Herts. in February 1964 by Peter Lawrence.

Vestigial furca of Kalaphorura burmeisteri

Fig. 4: Vestigial furca of the same specimen of Kalaphorura burmeisteri shown in Fig. 3.

Post-antennal organ (PAO) of Kalaphorura burmeisteri

Fig. 5: Post-antennal organ (PAO) of Kalaphorura burmeisteri collected from London by Ian Healey (date not known).

Foot of the third leg of Kalaphorura burmeisteri

Fig. 6: Foot of the third leg of Kalaphorura burmeisteri collected from Lightwater, Surrey in November 1950 by J.T. Salmon. The tip of the empodium is about the same length as the claw but the tip is out of the plane of focus in this photograph.

Two pseudocelli at the base of the antenna of Kalaphorura burmeisteri

Fig. 7: Two pseudocelli (*) at the base of the antenna (ant) of the same specimen of Kalaphorura burmeisteri shown in Fig. 6.

 
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