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Class Symphyla - Symphylans

little white centipede Symphylan  Symphylan + Eggs Tiny Centipede Symphylan Symphylan Symphylan Symphylans
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Myriapoda (Myriapods)
Class Symphyla (Symphylans)
Other Common Names
Dwarf Millipedes, Garden Centipedes, Garden Symphylans, Glasshouse Symphylans, Symphylids/Symphilids
Explanation of Names
Symphyla Ryder 1880
Numbers
2 families worldwide, both represented in North America
Approx. 7 genera, 30 species in our area.
Size
1-8 mm long
Identification
White, slender, prominent antennae with many segments; numerous legs (12 pair in mature adults). Well developed head. Newly hatched nymphs have only six pairs, but the total number of legs grows with each molt.

Two families worldwide, both in occur in our area. Scutigerellidae can be distinguished by relatively large dorsal tergites (aka scuta) with posterior margins rounded or gently lobed, and relatively larger body length (usually > 4 mm) while the tergites of Scolopendrellidae are reduced in size or sharply pointed posteriorly, and individuals are usually < 4mm.
Range
All continents except Antarctica
Habitat
Soil, especially the upper 12-15 cm
Season
All stages can be found throughout the year, but most eggs and early nymphs are found in the spring and fall.
Food
Manly roots or fungi; many are probably omnivorous
Remarks
May cause damage to plants, especially in greenhouses
Print References
(1)
(2):Ch. 28, Symphyla (pp. 891-910)
Internet References
Fact sheet (Berry 1998)
Works Cited
1.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.
2.Soil Biology Guide
Daniel Dindal, ed. 1990. Wiley-Interscience.