Open Spaces. Open Minds.
The page below lists all confirmed UK Collembola, with hyperlinks to pages listing their distribution, outline taxonomic descriptions and (where known) their ecology. The content originated with Steve Hopkin and is maintained / updated by Peter Shaw.
NOTE: Although splitting the Onychiuridae into several genera can be criticised, it does have the advantage of separating out the definite species groups within the old definitions of Protaphorura (post-antennal organ (PAO) with simple vesicles) and Onychiurus (PAO with complex vesicles). Generic boundaries are by no means settled and further changes are likely in the future. The genera used in this list are those of Pomorski (1988) in his Synopsis on the Onychiurinae of Poland. The list below represents the current state of taxonomy. Steve (who acknowledged help from Arne Fjellberg and Jacek Pomorski for help) refused to accept species as a valid UK species unless supported by a specimen in good condition, and expressed deep doubts about some species names (especially Protaphorura sp. described by Gisin). Some of the species described by Gisin had almost certainly already been seen (and in some cases described) by Bagnall, but both the descriptions and their type specimens are too poor to be helpful, implying that a thorough revision is needed of all Bagnall's and Gisin's 'species'.
It is a testament to the taxonomic uncertainty in this family that latterly while at Reading University Steve ended up refusing to endorse species names for ANY of these blind, yellow/white litter dwellers that older workers think of as 'Onychiurus'. "Bring on the molecules" was his usual despairing reply.
After examining more than 1000 specimens of purported Protaphorura and checking on the pseudocelli formula, the presence of a seta s' on abdomen 5, and convergence of lines drawn through setae near the anal spines, Steve Hopkin decided that only 3 broad groups could be distinguished, implying that most of the species mentioned in the literature are juvenile synonyms. People who have worked with these animals for a while often turn up individuals where one side of the body keys to one species, while the other half of its body keys down to a different species (this effect has certainly been seen by Steve, Peter Shaw and previously his supervisor Mike Usher). The page for P. armata includes pictures of specimens in this group displaying clear asymmetry.
Supraphorura furcifera (130 SRfur) common, widespread
Thalassaphorura debilis (125 THdeb) Common, littoral.
In addition to the species listed below, another 8 species are listed under "rare or uncertain".
Mesaphorura macrochaeta (161 MSmac) widespread and common.
Mesaphorura krausbaeri (160 MSkra) probably moderately common, only separated from M. macrochaeta by the l2' seta
Mesaphorura atlantica (158 MSatl) only recorded once but very distinctive.
Metaphorura affinis (165 MTaff) widespread and fairly common in soil.
although rare, this genus has distinctive anal spines that should be looked for
Paratullbergia callipygos (170 PTcal) widespread and common in soil.
Stenaphorura denisi (176SUden), Common, widespread
Stenaphorura lubbocki (177 SUlub), Moderately common, widespread
Stenaphorura quadrispina (178 SUqua), Common, widespread
Podura aquatica (179 DAqu), Probably common and widespread but see comments
Entomobrya albocincta (182 ENalb), Very common, widespread, especially up vegetation
Entomobrya corticalis (184 ENcor), [rare]
Entomobrya handschini (184.5 ENhan), one record only, possibly a new species
Entomobrya intermedia (185 ENint), Common and widespread but badly confused with E. nivalis
Entomobrya lanuginosa (186 ELnan), Moderately common, probably widespread but with a tendency to be coastal.
Entomobrya marginata (187 ENmar), Scarce
Entomobrya multifasciata (189 ENmul), Very common, widespread
Entomobrya nicoleti (191 ENnic), Very common, widespread
Entomobrya nivalis (192 ENniv), Very common, widespread
Entomobrya unostrigata(195.5 ENuno) Not yet found in UK but may turn up in southern brownfield / disturbed sites.
Entomobryoides myrmecophilus (196 EMmyr), Rare, confined to ant nests
Mesentoma dollfusi (205MSdol), coastal, apparently scarce
Sinella curviseta (222 Sicur), scarce, synanthropic
Sinella tenebriosa (221.5 SIten) Scarce, synanthropic. Records of Sinella caeca belong here too.
Lepidocyrtus curvicollis (197 LEcur), common, widespread
Lepidocyrtus cyaneus (198 LEcya), very common, widespread
Lepidocyrtus lanuginosus (199 ELlan), very common, widespread
Lepidocyrtus lignorum, probably common and widespread
Lepidocyrtus ruber (203 LErub), uncommon, probably widespread in damp habitats
Lepidocyrtus violaceus (204 LEvio), probably moderately common and widespread
Pseudosinella alba (206 PSalb), very common, widespread
Pseudosinella decipiens (208 PSdec), moderately common, often in caves
Pseudosinella dobati (209 PSdob), confined to caves - a true troglobite
Pseudosinella halophila (211 PShal), rare, coastal
Pseudosinella immaculata (212 PSimm), very common, widespread
Pseudosinella sexoculata (216 PSsex), uncommon but widespread.
Heteromurus major (228.5 HTmaj), very scarce but is a UK species
Heteromurus nitidus (228 HEnit), widespread and common
Orchesella alticola (229 ORalt), Moderately common but largely montane
Orchesella cincta (231 ORcin), Very common, almost ubiquitous
Orchesella flavescens (232 ORfla), scarce
Orchesella quinqefasciata (233 ORqui), scarce, apparently thermophilic/southern
Orchesella villosa (235 ORcill), Very common, widespread
Pogonognathellus longicornis (350 POlon), very common, widespread: often still called Tomocerus longicornis
Pogonognathellus flavescens (349 POfla), scarce, maybe montane: often still called Tomocerus flavescens
Tomocerus minor (351 TOmin), very common, widespread
[I'm not sure where to put this snippet, so I'll put it here: Steve Hopkin assured me in 2002 that adult Tomocerus lack a post-antennal organ, but juveniles do have one.]
Anurophorus laricis (238 ANlar), very common up trees, under bark etc
Anurophorus unguiculus (240 ANung), scarce, apparently terrestrial
Archisotoma besselsi (241 ARbes), Moderately common, widespread, littoral
Archisotoma megalops (242 ACmeg), Scarce, probably widespread, littoral
Archisotoma pulchella (243 ACpul), Moderately common, widespread, littoral
Archisotoma theae (243.5 ARthe), probably rare and overlooked, littoral
Ballistura borealis (245 BAbor), rare, only edges of Scottish lochs.
Ballistura filifera (246 BAfil), rare, synanthropic
Ballistura schoetti (248 BAsch), Moderately common
Cryptopygus clavatus (325CRcla) (formerly Proisotoma admaritima (325 PIadm), One record only, coastal, but probably overlooked.
Cryptopygus thermophilus (254 CRthe), Locally common in dry disturbed areas, southern bias.
Mucrosomia (formerly Cryptopygus) garretti (250 MUgar), widespread, with a preference for caves, mines and wet areas.
The fusion of abdominal segments 4-6 makes the genus Folsomia easy to recognise, but naming the species is more tricky, not helped by mis-identifications of preserved specimens and the discovery of cryptic species within old names. For convenience species here are arranged by number of ocelli; some species are blind (and invariably white), others have 1+1 eyes, others dark with 2+2 or 3+3 ocelli. These ocelli are generally easy to see in fresh material but can be very hard to see in cleared specimens. Details of the chaetotaxy of the manubrium and dens need to be checked. When sampling from acid soils it is common for the extract to be dominated by large numbers of grey, 2-eyed Folsomias which in theory should all be checked down to species - this is often not practical.
White, eye-less species
Folsomia bisetosa (257 FObis), Rare if present, may be hiding a new species
Folsomia candida (261 FOcan), Widespread, common, standard laboratory culture
Folsomia fimetaria (264 FOfim), Widespread, common
Folsomia inoculata (266 FOino), Apparently rare but common in at least one Scottish forest, probably overlooked.
Folsomia litsteri (267 FOlit), Rare but probably overlooked
Folsomia spinosa (278 FOspi), Moderately common
One eyed species
Folsomia agrelli (256 FOagr), Scarce, caves only
Folsomia similis (277 FOsim), scarce. See here also for comments on the closely related F. diplopthalma and F. palearctica.
Two eyed species (grey-black)
Folsomia brevicauda (258 FObre), locally very common in acid bogs
Folsomia manolachei (268 FOman), Common, widespread but historically muddled with F. quadrioculata
Folsomia penicula (274 FOpen), Moderately common, widespread
Folsomia quadrioculata (275 FOqua), Common, widespread but historically muddled with F. manolachei
Three eyed species (grey/black)
Folsomia sexoculata (276 FOsex), Common, coastal. Inland records may hide another species.
Folsomia thalassophila (279 FOtha), scarce, littoral.
Folsomides parvulus (282 FDpar), rare, mainly in thin dry soils
Folsomides angularis - status unclear, see F. parvulus for comments.
Isotomiella minor (304 ISmin), common, widespread
Isotomodes productus (307 ITpro), Common, widespread
Isotomodes templetoni (308 ITtem), only 3 records, all from Ireland in the 1930s
Proctostephanus madeirensis (324 PZmad), introduced, only ever found on 2 waste heaps and probably now extinct in UK
Only one species of Proisotoma is common in the UK; one appears to be scarce, the rest very scarce and either littoral or introduced.
Proisotoma buddenbrocki (326 PRbud), One record only, coastal
Proisotoma minima (327 PImin), Moderately common
Proisotoma minuta (328 PImit), Common, widespread
Proisotoma tenella 2 records from managed/cultivated sites. probably a casual/tramp species.
Tetracanthella arctica (336 TEarc), One record
Tetracanthella brachyura (335 TAbra), Moderately common
Tetracanthella lichidnis (338 TElic), one record
Tetracanthella pilosa (339 TEpil) One record
Tetracanthella wahlgreni (341 TEwah), probably widespread in cold acid boggy/mountainous habitats
Uzelia setifera (343 UZset), rare, probably under-recorded in canopy communities.
Agrenia bidenticulata (237 AGbid), Common in wet habitats in the north-west, also in caves.
Axelsonia littoralis (244 AXlit), Scarce, littoral
Desoria antennalis - See Isotomurus antennalis (285 ISant)
Desoria infuscata (291 DOinf), rare, upland sphagnum bogs.
Desoria tigrina (301 DOtig), Common, widespread
Desoria trispinata (302.1 DOtri) Probable alien horticultural import; so far one record but could be widespread.
Desoria violacea (302 DOvio), Common, probably widespread
Halisotoma maritima (293 HAmar), coastal, widespread
Halisotoma poseidonis (298 HApos), coastal, rare or under-recorded.
Isotoma anglicana (284 ISang), Common, widespread, has been muddled with I. viridis
Isotoma antennalis - See Isotomurus antennalis (285 ISant),
Isotoma caerulea (289 IScae), unclear, possibly widespread but under-reported.
Isotoma riparia (299.5 ISrip), apparently scarce, only at edge of rivers, probably under-reported.
Isotoma viridis (303 ISvir), Common, widespread, has been muddled with I. anglicana.
Isotomurus antennalis (285 ISant), scarce, stripy, of enigmatic distribution.
Isotomurus balteatus (312 IRbal), a stripy hothouse alien, may well be long extinct in UK.
Isotomurus fucicolus (314 IRfuc), probably moderately common species - brown/purple.
Isotomurus maculatus (315 IRmac), probably common but under-recorded
Isotomurus palustris (316 IRpal), very common in moist habitats but hopelessly muddled with Isotomurus unifasciatus
Isotomurus plumosus (317 IRplu) Common, usually collected on wet vegetation at edge of still water.
Isotomurus unifasciatus (320.5 IRuni) Probably common but hopelessly muddled with Isotomurus palustris
Parisotoma notabilis (296 PInot), very common, widespread - almost ubiquitous.
Pseudisotoma sensibilis (334 PSsen), Very common, especially in sunny spots on acid soils.
Vertagopus arborea (344 VEarb), common and widespread, mainly on trees / bark.
Vertagopus cinereus (345 VEsin), Common and widespread, mainly on trees / bark.
Megalothorax minimus (355 MGmin), widespread, common but overlooked as tiny.
Neelides minutus (356 NEmin), Probably rare, overlooked as tiny
Neelus murinus (357 MEmur), Moderately common, mainly in caves
Arrhopalites caecus (380 AHcae), Common, widespread especially in caves
Arrhopalites principalis (382 ARpri), scarce (see also for Arrhopalites cochlearifer)
Arrhopalites pygmaeus (383 ARpyg), common, widespread especially in caves
Arrhopalites sericus (384 ARser), scarce (see also for Arrhopalites bifidus)
Bourletiella arvalis (358 BOarv), common, widespread
Bourletiella hortensis (359 BOhor), common, widespread
Bourletiella viridescens (361 BOvir), not properly confirmed, but probably present in montane vegetation
Deuterosminthurus bicinctus (363 DEbic), moderately common
Deuterosminthurus pallipes (365 DEpal), common, widespread
Deuterosminthurus sulphureus (367 DEsul), moderately common
Heterosminthurus bilineatus (368 HSbil), moderately common
Heterosminthurus claviger (369 HScla), rare, found in pennine grasslands.
Heterosminthurus insignis (371 HSins), moderately common
Heterosminthurus novemlineatus (372 HSnov), rare
Dicyrtoma fusca (373 DIfus), common, widespread
Dicyrtomina minuta (374 DImin), very common, widespread
Calvatomina superba (376.5 CVsup) a garden-centre import
Calvatomina rufescens (376.6 CVruf) Status unclear, but something looking like this is turning up on macro-photography pages.
Ptenothrix carpenteri (378 PXcar)
"Katianna sp 3 " Not a katianna but a new genus; despite this may be quite common in Cornwall, plus garden sites anywhere.
sp nov a spotty alien found in Richmond park.
Gisinianus flammeolus (386 GIfla), status unclear, see map for comments
Sminthurinus albifrons (387 SNalb), rare, no recent records
Sminthurinus aureus (388 SNaur), very common, widespread
Sminthurinus bimaculatus (389 SNbim), status unclear, see map for comments
Sminthurinus cingulatus (390 SNcin), no specimens known, 1 record from Spey valley
Sminthurinus concolor (391 SNcon), scarce
Sminthurinus domesticus (392 SNdom), rare, synanthropic
Sminthurinus elegans (393 SNele), common, widespread
Sminthurinus igniceps (394 SNign), status unclear, see map for comments
Sminthurinus lawrencei (395 SNlaw), status unclear, see map for comments
Sminthurinus niger (396 SNnig), common, widespread
Sminthurinus trinotatus (397SNtri), synanthropic
Sminthurinus reticulatus (398 SNret) apparently a newly established and rapidly expanding form/species.
Allacma fusca (409 ALfus), common, widespread
Disparrhopalites patrizi (411 DSpat), rare, only known from caves in Devon (2) and Wales (1).
Lipothrix lubbocki (412 LIlub), moderately common, ancient woodland only
Sminthurus multipunctatus (Schäffer, 1896) one 19th century record, unlikely to be present
Sminthurus nigromaculatus (414 SMnig), scarce but definitely present in sandy areas
Sminthurus viridis (415 SMvir), very common, widespread
Sminthurides bifidus (400SDbif) one record, worth checking for in ponds (espcially used for fish cultivation).
Sminthurides cruciatus (401 SDcru), rare, no recent records
Sminthurides malmgreni (402 SDmal), very common, widespread
Sminthurides parvulus (403 SDpar), common, widespread
Sminthurides pseudassimilis (404 SDpse), rare
Sminthurides schoetti (405 SDsch), common, widespread
Sminthurides signatus (406 SDsig), moderately common
Sphaeridia pumilis (407 SPpum), very common, widespread
Stenacidia violacea (408 STvio), moderately common
Sphyrotheca multifasciata (416 SYmul), rare, hothouses only, may not still occur in UK.