Superkingdom Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Superclass Hexapoda
Class Entognatha
Order Protura

Common name: Proturans

Description: Very small (less than 2mm), wingless, eyeless, without antennae, entognathous mouthparts, fore legs held forward, thoracic segments like those of the abdomen, legs five-segmented, adult abdomen 12-segmented without cerci; the immature insect resembles a small adult but with fewer abdominal segments.

Fun facts: With some 175 species in eight families, Proturans are cryptic, found exclusively in soils, mosses and leaf litter. However, their biology is little known. Their phylogenetic position is controversial, but they are usually included as the sister group to the Collembola. Some classifications of Protura deem that they are non-insect hexapods (Scudder et al. 1979), but I defer to the Bland 1978 classification scheme.

sourced, in part, by The Insects: An outline of entomology, second ed. Gullan, P.J. and P.S. Cranston. Blackwell Science, Great Britain, 2000.

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