THE DIPLURANS (DIPLURA) OF
R. A. Cannings and G. G. E. Scudder
Copyright © 2005 - All rights reserved
Extracted from the forthcoming publication The Insect Families of British Columbia.
Description (draft only)
The diplurans are small, pale narrow-bodied, apterous hexapods with entognathous mouthparts, The head lacks eyes, and the antennae are long and moniliform. The legs are five-segmented, short, with a one-segment tarsus, and with paired claws on the forelegs. The abdomen is 10-segmented with styli and eversible vesicles on at least some of the segments. The abdomen terminates either in long many-segmented cerci or in a pair of short sclerotized, one-segmented forceps.
Diplurans are soil dwellers, and sometimes are found in aggregations. They are herbivorous or predatory.
The life cycle of species in British Columbia is unknown, although diplurans are known to produce spermatophores attached to the substrate on a short stalk. Elsewhere, female japygids are known to guard their eggs and young. Post-embryonic development is slow, with about 30 moults recorded in Campodea, with little change in form.
Three genera and five families occur in North America, three of which occur in British Columbia. Three species are known from British Columbia, but more are likely to occur. A key to the genera of Campodeinae in North America is provided by Ferguson (1990a).
Ferguson, L.M. 1990a. Insecta: Diplura. Pp. 951-963. (in) Dindale, D.L. (Ed.) Soil Biology Guide. John Wiley and Sons, New York, N.Y.