Monday, December 5, 2011


Bristletails are the other species I added to the Winter Terrarium. I know I put at least two of them in there but they are very difficult to find. They are called Jumping Bristletails from the order Microcoryphia. In the wild they are very difficult to photograph because they just won’t stay still and have the annoying habit of jumping out of sight just as I get them in focus. I have actually done better with them in the terrarium except that the sides of the tank are not clean so there are specs in the photos. Darn.

In Ken Kaufman’s Field Guide to Insects of North America, Eric Eaton describes them as having a shrimplike “broken-back” appearance, with three streaming “tails”.

I think I have all they need for their dietary requirements because the terrarium is well stocked with algae, lichens, mosses and decaying plants. What more could a bristletail want!

I’m not sure if you can tell but they are covered with slippery scales that make them hard to catch.

I hope to learn more about them this winter.


Martina said...

Reading this post I was sure that this has to be a non-European species ... never saw them, ;-).
But alas, I found out they are everywhere - even where I live.
I found some photos (site is in German though) of "Felsenspringer" living right around the corner, so to say, ;-)

Martina said...

But of course we have Lepismatidae - everywhere ... ;-)