Bristletail from Singapore

Subject: Singapore prawn-like insect
Location: Singapore
March 30, 2014 9:49 pm
Hi Daniel
If we ever needed proof that all life on earth originated from the sea then this insect surely must be it. I found it in a wooded area far away from any water source. It looks more like a prawn than an insect. Would you have any idea what it is ? It was about an inch in length and moved quite fast. It was sitting on a leaf as you can see from the photo.
Signature: David


Hi David,
This is a primitive insect in the order Microcoryphia, and the members are commonly called Bristletails.  Compare your individual to this Rock Bristletail pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, Bristletails are:  “wingless; body cylindrical, brownish or yellowish with darker mottling or irregular pattern; thorax arched dorsally; tip of abdomen with 1 long medial filament and 2 shorter lateral cerci; long thread-like antennae with many segments; eyes large and meet in middle; mandibles articulate at one point only; short lateral styli (rudimentary appendages) on abdominal segments 2-9; able to jump up to 10 cm by snapping abdomen against ground” and they inhabit “outdoor grassy or wooded environments: under bark, in leaf litter, rock crevices, or under stones; not normally found in homes, does not breed indoors, and not considered a pest.”

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