Thursday, 1 April 2010
Little pole vaulters
My conservatory springtail proved easy to identify thanks to a very exhuberant mane by WAB member Jason Green as Orchesella villosa. Going back to old photos I found one where a couple of individuals of the same species enjoy the underside of a fallen apple with some slugs and woodlice like a group of friends that have found paradise.
Many resources on springtails state that their relationships with insects is unclear, as some research showed they might be more related to crustaceans. To clarify this debate, a recent paper by Regier and collaborators, based on a phylogeny of 62 genes showed conclusively that collembolans are indeed hexapods and more closely related to insects.
A very informative account on Collembollans by Steve Hopkin here.
Collembola.org by Frans Janssens.
Regier, J.C. et al. (2010) Arthropod relationships revealed by phylogenomic analysis of nuclear protein-coding sequences. Nature, 463:1079-1083. here.