Scheller, Ulf Häggesled, Häggeboholm, Sweden.
- Habitat and behavior
- Phylogeny and classification
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A class of small, blind, terrestrial myriapods distinguished by bifurcate antennae and 8–11 pairs of legs. Members of the class Pauropoda (pauropods) are small creatures (see illustration), measuring 0.3–2.0 mm (0.012–0.08 in.) in length, and are whitish or brownish in color. They inhabit moist soil and the lower litter layer, but also can be found under bark and moss. Adults have 8–11 pairs of legs and unique forked antennae. The head and tergites (dorsal plates covering the somites) of pauropods are provided with setae or protuberances that vary considerably in shape. They can be filiform (filamentlike or threadlike), shieldlike, globular, or tuftlike. Superficially, pauropods may resemble insects, such as collembolans, but they have a diverging and distinctive locomotory pattern. They can elongate their body or shorten it by contraction to a very high degree. They also are swift, with their movements characterized by rapid rushes and frequent abrupt changes in direction. See also: Arthropoda; Myriapoda
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