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Springtail, SEM

Springtail, SEM

C029/9390

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Credit

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Springtail. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the springtail Sminthurides bifidus. Springtails are tiny hexapods related to insects. Springtails are amongst the most primitive arthropods, dating back 300 million years in the fossil record. There are about 1500 species. The common name derives from the habit of some species of using their tails to spring into the air; this species lives close to water and has the adaptive feature of a paddle shaped wettable mucro (modified claw) (bottom left) allowing them to move at the surface of water. Springtails have no wings and their eyes are primitive ocelli, consisting of 6 to 8 light-sensitive cells. Magnification: x 80 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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