Inspired by Myrmecos: Parajapyx

Parajapyx - another long, lean, post-crustacean

This posting was inspired by Myrmecos, a general lack of inspiration, and just wondering what a 500 pixel wide microarthropod might look like. Although there are some long, lean mites that might be more appropriate, Prolixus forsteri comes to mind, or perhaps the unbeatable long lean acarine, Gordialycus tuzetae Coineau, Fize & Deboutteville 1967 – which looks more like a giant nematode than a worm (for a light micrograph see*), alas, I have no pictures of them.

Really, I’m just tired of shovelling snow (~20 cm today, and it is well into May) and ready to veg out in front of the most recent Circus of the Spineless, so here’s one of my larger contributions, a ~ 3 mm long Parajapyx species from Queensland (where snows are few and far between). Not much seems to be known about these mini-diplurans. The monstrous Heterojapyx (~ 20 mm) make better pets, especially if you enjoy watching them catching collembolans with their posterior pinchers, twisting around their abdomens, and then eating the RSPCAless springtails alive, but are far too large to contemplate for the SEM.

Heterojapyx sp. -one of the largest living dipluran

*Norton RA, Oliveira AR & de Moraes GJ. 2008. First brazilian records of the acariform mite genera Adelphacarus AND Gordialycus (Acari: Acariformes: Adelphacaridae and Nematalycidae) Internat. J. Acarol. 34: 91-94.

6 Responses to “Inspired by Myrmecos: Parajapyx”

  1. Ted C. MacRae Says:

    Man, those are some spectacular images of seldom seen insects (wait, these aren’t insects anymore, right?). I don’t think I’ve seen anything from this order since the 2 specimens we found in our leaf litter Berlese trap sample back in college systematics.

  2. Adrian Thysse Says:

    Amazing picture. Reminds me of earwigs.

  3. myrmecos Says:

    Very nice, macromite. I didn’t know that’s what japygids did with those pincers.

    I was surprised to find, on moving to urban Illinois, that campodeids are one of the more common critters in my yard.

    • macromite Says:

      Hi myrmecos,

      Campodeids seem to do very well everywhere – even in ant nests. I suspect that some have been moved around by people, but they seem to be one of the ignored groups and I’ve never met anyone who could work with them at the species-level.

      Heterojaypx are large enough to be able to capture fairly large prey such as bristletails and amphipods (which are important detritivores in Australian rainforest litter).

  4. scrubmuncher Says:

    Dear Micromite

    I’m working on a book at the moment and would love to use some of your fantastic SEM images. Could you perhaps contact me through my blog so we can discuss possible terms and so that I might be able to see what other SEMs you have.

    Best wishes

    Ross

  5. Strepsiptera Says:

    I’ve been trying to identify a japygid that was about 26 mm long.. can’t be this though, I’m in america and the heterojapygids are only native to oceania.:/ Thanks, though, you have a wonderful site here. :,)

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