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Photo#260078
Collembola - Ceratophysella denticulata

Collembola - Ceratophysella denticulata
Norfolk, Virginia, USA
March 20, 2009
Size: ~2mm
Found under piece of bark in the leaf litter. The closest match I can find is Hypogastrura harveyi. Walked with a very slow lumbering gate. I only saw one fo these that day and tried to find another the next day to get some close up images of the two upward protruding spikes at end of abdomen.

Images of this individual: tag all
Collembola - Ceratophysella denticulata Collembola - Ceratophysella denticulata Collembola - Ceratophysella denticulata Collembola - Ceratophysella denticulata Collembola - Ceratophysella denticulata

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Ceratophysella denticulata
Identifying Hypogastruridae on habitus pictures is always a challenge.
But your pictures are excellent and it should be possible to do a proper identification.
The specimen agrees well with Hypogastrura given the bluish colour. But the large anal spines on the large papilla do not match any Hypogastrura species. Ceratophysella is generally more purplish than bluish, but the large anal spines are characteristic. Also the large postantennal organ reveals it is Ceratophysella.
Ceratophysella can be positively identified by checking the shape of the mucro of the furca. The mucro should be spoonlike or boatlike.

 
A new species for BG..
The anal spines are for defense? I could not get any images of the furca, but will try again when I see one next time.

Thanks!

 
The anal spines
are for defense but in a passive way only: predators sneaking on a specimen from behind will have some difficulties in grabbing the specimen due to the spiky spines. A split moment of time of hesitation by the predator while trying to grab the specimen is enough for the springtail to use its furca to escape.

Another purpose of the anal spines is to anchor the specimen in narrow crevices. Once anchored it will be hard for a predator to pull the specimen out off its safe location. In Onychiuridae, the anchoring anal spines used in combination with a smelly defensive fluid produced by specialised cuticular glands to scare predators away, form an efficient protection.

 
It is good...
for this springtail to have these defenses, because it has such a slow and lumbering movement. Thanks for the answer Frans.

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