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Ceratophysella? - Brachystomella parvula

Ceratophysella? - Brachystomella parvula
El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA
January 16, 2016

Images of this individual: tag all
Ceratophysella? - Brachystomella parvula Ceratophysella? - Brachystomella parvula

Moved from Ceratophysella.

Moved from Hypogastruridae.

Thank you Ken!
I appreciate your kind help.

Ceratophysella sp.

Thank you Frans!
I valued your kind assistance and vast expertise on these bugs.

1. Do you know how many ocelli are present in each eyepatch? 5, 6 or 8?
2. Are anal spines present or not?

The problem usually is
that I seldom collect specimens and the only data that I have are these pictures. The earliest I can go back to the site and collect them is the day after tomorrow to put them under the microscope for answers.

OK. No problem.
We have time ;-)

Not what I was expecting!
I just looked at these bugs under my microscope and found out that the photos that I submitted to BG show much more detail that I can achieve with my Olympus stereo dissecting microscope. Thus, I am not able to answer your questions. Sorry.

Thx anyway.
But with a microscope you should be able to see the ocelli and anal spines (if present). If not, you can try to clear a specimen. The most gentle approach to clear a specimen is using lactic acid. You can even use sour milk. Using a solution of 10% NaOH (or KOH) is a more powerfull means to completely decolour the specimen.

Better yet!
I could collect them again (the ones in my possesion have dried up) and mail them to you. Just email me your address (svitanza4 at

Brachystomella parvula
I did receive your sample of specimens in good condition. Thx. I mounted 5 on a slide in Hoyer medium to properly clear them. This will take a few weeks. In the mean time I had a quick peek and the specimens turn out to be Brachystomella (not Ceratophysella): anal spines absent, unguiculus absent, 8+8 ocelli, mandibles absent. The head of the maxillae typically has 4 distinctly large teeth, and this is diagnostic to the genus. Christiansen & Bellinger (1998) point out that the US specimens could be different from the European. Your habitus pictures might support this view given the European specimens are more reddish than yours.

Am I correct in assuming...
...that this will require the creation of new family, genus and species pages under Neanuroidea?

If so, should I proceed to do that--or do you want to examine the specimens a while longer?

You are quite correct
Brachystomellidae is new for Bugguide, indeed.
I'm sure about the genus Brachystomella. Currently there are 5 described nearctic Brachystomella species. The species parvula is the best match. It could be that parvula is a species complex. The future will tell...

The future will tell.
A phrase that strikes fear in my heart. :)

B. parvula it is--for the time being at least.

A new family, genus, and species for BG! These are the best words I can imagine for one of my submissions. This makes my day!
It would be spectacular if you could share photos of the cleared/mounted specimens; especially if the photos could show the diagnostic features you mentioned. Thanks for the free education you are providing to the BG community.
Thank you for creating this page and keeping up with the changes.

I'll try to make ...
some shots of the diagnostic features. I prefer to use illustrations of body parts of alive specimens. To be able to use them for a field key. The microscopic diagnostic features cannot be used in the field...

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