Insects of Britain and Ireland: orders

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Adult insects. Phytophagous (in most Campodeidae, which is the only family represented in Britain), or predatory (in some of the other families, which capture their prey using the maxillae or the cerci). Minute to small (up to 5 mm); flightless. Head prognathous. Mouthparts well developed (but the maxillary and labial palps reduced); of the biting type; not piercing; more or less conforming to the generalized biting type (the mandibles usually with a prostheca, cf. larval Ephemoroptera). Antennae relatively conspicuous; simple; 15–35 segmented (‘many-segmented’). Compound eyes vestigial or absent. Ocelli 0. Thoracic legs present (these 5-segmented). Tarsi 1 segmented (with 2 or 3 claws). Abdomen conspicuously appendaged at the rear; with long terminal bristles; with cerci clearly visible at its tip (these long, filiform and rather resembling the antennae in the British representatives); apparently 10 segmented; exhibiting rudimentary abdominal limbs (with ‘styles’ and eversible vesicles, usually on most of the first 7 segments).

Larvae. Larvae with three pairs of segmented thoracic legs; without ventral abdominal prolegs. Development of larva into adult gradual; apterygote; not involving a pupal stage.

Classification. Subclass Apterygota (but sometimes treated as a Class, equivalent in status to the Insecta).

British representation. Campodeidae; genera 1 (Campodea); 12 species.

General comments. Mostly inhabiting damp soil under logs or stones.

Illustrations. • Campodea, adult and larva (Lubbock 1890). adult. larva.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: orders. Version: 16th May 2016.’.