Entomobrya termitophila Schött, 1917, Schott, 1917

Jordana, Rafael & Greenslade, Penelope, 2020, Biogeographical and ecological insights from Australasian faunas: the megadiverse collembolan genus, Entomobrya (Entomobryidae), Zootaxa 4770 (1), pp. 1-104: 72-75

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Entomobrya termitophila Schött, 1917


Entomobrya termitophila Schött, 1917  

( Figs 3H View FIGURE 3 , 5 View FIGURE 5 O–P, 39A–F)

Type material: Lectotype NHRM 1019 View Materials , Mt Tamborine (as Mt Tambourine), QLD.  

Paralectotype (s) NHRM 1020 View Materials   ; SAMA 1 specimen (in alcohol); MONZ   1 specimen

Type locality. QLD, Mount Tambourine , - 27.9422°S, 153.1936°E, 525m asl, Oct. 1912, Mjöberg leg., 4 specimens GoogleMaps   .

Other original material examined. Three specimens from a termite nest. QLD, nr Mapleton, Blackall Range, - 26.7°S, 152.8833°E, 374m asl, Sept. 1913 GoogleMaps   .

New material examined. QLDMus: female subadult, QLDM-14, Mount Superbus summit, - 28.219°S, 152.459°E, 8–9.ii.1990, 1300 m and 11 specimen in ethyl alcohol; QLDM-16, 1 specimen in ethyl alcohol, Lambs Head, 10 km W of Edmonton, - 17.0230°S, 145.6410°E, 1320m asl, 11/12/1989, G. Monteith leg. GoogleMaps   ; QLDM-19, female subadult, Lamington N. P., 2–6.vi.1958; QLDM- 24   , 2 specimen in ethyl alcohol, Westcliff track, Lamington NP, 5.xi,1989; QLDM-29-1, Mt Superbus   , 2 female, 5specimen in ethyl alcoho - 28.219°S, 152.459°E, 1350 m alt. 9–5. ii.1990, l; QLDM-29-2, 1 female, Mt Superbus , - 28.219°S, 152.459°E, 1350 m alt,, pyrethrum logs, 9–5. ii. 1990 Monteith leg. GoogleMaps   ; SAMA: juvenile male, NSW, Blue Mountain National Park. Mt. Wilson, in grass litter. 28. xii.1975, D. Smith leg.   ;; NSW, Nundle State forest , - 31.4710°S, 151.1294°E, 605m asl, ex log Pinus radiate   infested with Hylastes ater, July 1986, C. Stone leg. GoogleMaps   ; 1 female, 1 male NSW, Barcoongere , - 29.9004°S, 153.2023°E, 45m asl, ex pine log, 9.vii.1990, C. Stone leg. GoogleMaps   ; juvenile, VIC, Glenelg River Reserve , - 37.1563°S, 141.8787°E, 40m asl, Eucalyptus   leaf litter, 18.v.1975, PG leg GoogleMaps   .; 2 male, VIC, Wilsons Promontory , - 39.0319°S, 146.3198°E, 50m asl, woodland, pitfalls, Mar. 1982, A. Anderson leg. GoogleMaps   ; 2 females on slide, (1 cleared in Nesbit ), female, male in slide (1 cleared in Nesbitt’s) and 5 in ethyl alcohol, NSW, Styx, Nothofagus   , -23.1.90, 30.497°S, 152.396°E, 1390m asl, Sutrisno leg. GoogleMaps   ; 2 females, male, 2 juveniles, SA, Hindmarsh Island , - 35.516°S, 138.866°E, 25m asl pitfalls Orebs land, revegetated plot, by gate, 4.x.2013, TAS, Cradle Valley, above Waldheim, - 41.6833°S, 145.95°E, canopy fogging, logs pine, 24.ii.1990 P. Lilleywhite, A. Yen leg. GoogleMaps  

Redescription based on the new material. Size. Length up to 1.77 mm excluding antennae, (n=13) (range 1.33–2.08 mm).

Colour. Uniform pale yellow or whitish. Head with dark spot between antennae. Th II–Abd I with blue, lateral longitudinal bands, Abd II totally dark blue, Abd III with curved transverse band, sometimes straight or covering whole segment. Abd IV with dispersed pigment more intensive laterally. Abd V–VI with posterior band ( Figs 5 View FIGURE 5 O– P). Abd II segment entirely coloured and Abd III partially coloured as described by Schött. Abd V with transversal dark stripe. Ground colour variable.

Head. Eight eyes, G and H smaller than E and F. Antennal length 821 μm (n=9), 2.2 times the length of the head (n=9).Ant IV with bilobed apical vesicle without adjacent pin chaeta. Relative length of Ant I/II/III/IV=1/2.1/2.1/2.6 (n=9). Sensory organ of Ant III with rod-like sensilla in addition to the 3 guard sensilla. Four labral papillae with 2 projections each. Labral formula 4/554, 4 prelabral ciliated chaetae, labral chaetae smooth. External process of labial papilla E not reaching at the papilla tip. Labial chaetae MREL 1 L 2 all ciliated, only with one M, and R smaller than other (70% of M).

Thorax and abdomen. Ratio lengths of Abd IV/III=3 (n=12). Tibiotarsus without differentiated chaetae, with exception of smooth terminal chaetae on legs 3, characteristic for the genus. Trochanteral organ with 12–14 spiny chaetae. Unguis length 65 μm. Unguis with 4 teeth: paired two at 50% from the base and first unpaired tooth at 70% from base; lateral teeth below the level of paired ones ( Fig. 39A View FIGURE 39 ). Unguiculus lanceolated, 40 μm, with external serrated lamella. Clavate tenent hair 70 μm. Length of manubrium and dens 240 and 390 μm respectively (n=12). Manubrial plate with 4 chaetae and 2 pseudopores. Mucro bidentate with anteapical tooth similar in size to apical one, mucronal basal spine reaching the tip of the subapical tooth. Mucro 15 μm (from 10 to 20) (n=12). The length of smooth apical part of dens 3.5 times than mucro.

Macrochaetotaxy. Simplified Mc formula (following Jordana & Baquero 2005): 3,1,0,1,1a/0,2/0,1(2)/0,0,1/0,0 (1),0(2),2,2. Head chaetotaxy ( Fig. 39C View FIGURE 39 ) An 1 mes, An 2, An 3a1 and An 3 Mc. A 5 Mc; only M 2 present as Mc. In sutural row S 0 usually absent, S 2, S 3, S 4, and S 5 present (sometimes S 0 as micro or mesochaeta). Ps 5 present. Thoracic chaetotaxy with Th II ( Fig. 39D View FIGURE 39 ) without Mc on T1 area. On T2 area Mc a 5 and m 4 present. Abdominal chaetotaxy ( Fig. 39E View FIGURE 39 ). Only m3 or m3ep Mc present posterior of as on A2 area of Abd II (in two specimens from Barcoongere m 3e present. On Abd III only m 3 Mc present on A5 area, Abd IV ( Fig. 39F View FIGURE 39 ) with Mc A 5 –A 6 and B 5 –B 6. In two specimens from Mt. Superbus Mc on A7 and A8 areas are present.

Remarks. Schött’s (1917) published description, translated from German, is as follows: “Diagnosis. Basic colour yellowish white. The distal part of the third abdomen is entirely black and close to the transverse connection thus formed, a spot adjoins the anterior part of the abdomen in the middle of the body, which, by way of exception, extends over the whole tergum. The specimens usually have an arched shape, sometimes an angular outline. Head and sides of the body with a slight hint of pigmentation, now relatively dark ( Fig. 14 View FIGURE 14 ). The distribution of pigment sometimes produces a triangular bright spot on the sides of the large abdominal segment. Ant I only pigmented at the proximal tip, but otherwise wholly white; Ant. II weakly violet, III and IV light blue. Manubrial segment, dens, legs weakly pigmented. Antennae about twice as long as the head diagonal. Ant I short, and inserted in a distinct, almost black basal ring, the other segments, of the same length. Th. II 1 1/3 as long as III. Abd III: IV=1: 3. Eyes on each side 8, proximal eyes smaller than the others. Tibial tenent hair about as long as the unguis. Unguis normal with pseudonychia, proximal paired teeth and two distal teeth. Unguiculus gradually tapering. Mucro 2 teeth and with the basal spine. Chaetotaxy abundant. The chaetae protruding from the mesonotum, the strikingly long hair on the dorsum. Length 1.5 mm.”

No other Entomobrya   species currently known has a chaetotaxy similar to E. termitophila   . In Abd II and III it is similar to E. lamingtonensis   , 0,1(2)/0,01 Mc but E. termitophila   hs no Mc on T1 area on Th II while E. lamingtonensis   has 2 Mc (m 1 and m 2). Some samples are cleared so their original colour is not known. These individuals have a chaetotaxy on the Abd IV that is slightly different and variable with a Mc or mes on Area A7 or 2 Mc on area A8 and 1 more on area 9 ( Fig. 39F View FIGURE 39 ), but absent in the rest of the specimens described here. This segment is usually variable in juveniles, sub-adults and adults. Among the latter, the chaetotaxy depends on size, although little variability is observed in this species. The colour is characteristic for the species.

This species appears widespread in southeast Australia and tends to be associated with ant and termite nests hence its name.


South Australia Museum


Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa - Entomology


Royal Botanic Gardens, National Herbarium of New South Wales


Museum national d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratiore de Paleontologie