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Microcoryphia ~ Jumping Bristletails

Strange little creatures that are rarely noticed, jumping bristletails look like a cross between a shrimp and a silverfish. They live in rocky areas and in leaf litter.

Long maxillary palps resemble a fourth pair of legs that stick out from the front of the head. These insects eat algae, fungi, and decaying plant matter.

Jumping bristletails are wingless but, as their name implies, they can jump.

This order does not develop through metamorphosis; the young look like adults and continue to molt their entire lives. Young and adults are often found together as they tend to congregate in favorable habitats.

Size is small to medium, the largest individuals reaching about 12 mm in length.

As with many insects that are very unobtrusive and cause people no harm, these are poorly studied and difficult to identify beyond order.

These are the Families of Microcoryphia (jumping bristletails) likely to be encountered in Austin, Texas:

[jumping bristletails]

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