Monday, June 4, 2018

A new springtail: Dicranocentrus hainanicus

Springtails, or collembola, are tiny arthropods. Their size ranges from 0.25 to 6 mm. Springtails normally live in damp soil. They eat mold and fungus.

They get their name from a spring-loaded structure, called the furcula, located on the underside of their abdomen. Most species have an tail-like appendage, the furcula, that is folded beneath the body to be used for jumping when the animal is threatened. It is held under tension by a small structure and when released, snaps against the ground, flinging the springtail into the air. All of this takes place in as little as 18 milliseconds and a jump can cover 10 cm. 

Today's new species was caught in China, Hainan Province. Its name refers to the origin.

For the experts: A new species, Dicranocentrus hainanicus Ren & Zhang, sp. n., is described from Hainan Province, China. Complete tergal chaetotaxy including microchaetae is illustrated and discussed. It is characterized by having the dental spines arranged in 2–3 rows, two inner teeth on unguis, 5, 2, 2 central macrochaetae on Abd. I–III, two inner S-chaetae on Abd. V displaced anteriorly, and the additional microchaetae associated with the S-chaeta acc.p6 on Th. II–Abd. II. It is most similar to D. chenae Ma, Chen & Soto-Adames but differs from the latter in the number and arrangement of dental spines and the absence of macrochaeta Pa1 on dorsal head. A key to the Chinese species of the genus is provided.

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