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Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

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Previous events


Order Microcoryphia - Bristletails

Machiloides banksi Bristletail with great eyes Bristletail Bristletail at Arden T. alternatus in suburban Syracuse - Trigoniophthalmus alternatus - female Bristletail Bristletail Bristletail
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Microcoryphia (Bristletails)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
The name Microcoryphia was proposed by Verhoeff on April 22, 1904; Borner proposed the name Archaeognatha 11 days later
Explanation of Names
Greek mikros 'small' + koryphe 'head'
22 spp. in 12 genera of 2 families in our area(1), ~about 350 spp. worldwide
up to 20 mm
wingless; body cylindrical, brownish or yellowish with darker mottling or irregular pattern; thorax arched dorsally; tip of abdomen with 1 long medial filament and 2 shorter lateral cerci; long thread-like antennae with many segments; eyes large and meet in middle; mandibles articulate at one point only; short lateral styli (rudimentary appendages) on abdominal segments 2-9; able to jump up to 10 cm by snapping abdomen against ground
most of NA and the world
outdoor grassy or wooded environments: under bark, in leaf litter, rock crevices, or under stones; not normally found in homes, does not breed indoors, and not considered a pest
algae, lichen, moss, decaying vegetation; usually feed at night
Life Cycle
Sexual maturity is reached after at least eight juvenile instars spanning up to two years. Molting continues periodically even after adulthood. The sexes are separate, but copulation does not occur. Males produce a packet of sperm (spermatophore) and leave it on the ground to be picked up by a female. Females cannot store sperm (they lack a spermatheca), and evidently acquire a new spermatophore before each bout of egglaying. Eggs are laid singly or in small groups (less than 30). Some species have elaborate courtship rituals to insure that females are able to locate a spermatophore. (Meyer 2005)
The name Thysanura (previously spelled Thysanoura, and originally Thysanoures in French) has been used at various times to refer to various groups of organisms. It originally included springtails, diplurans, bristletails, and silverfish, but has subsequently been used to refer to only 3, 2, or 1 of these groups. There are other accepted names for each of these groups, so in order to avoid confusion over what is meant by "Thysanura", many recent authors have chosen to discontinue its use.
(See Thysanura & Thysanoura, N.J. Kluge, St. Petersburg State U., Russia)
See Also
Silverfish (Zygentoma): compound eyes are small or absent and do not touch; body is flattened; mandibles articulate at two points; often found in homes and run quickly but cannot jump.
Internet References
Fact sheet by D. Maddison