7.3.3. Class and order Diplura (diplurans)

Diplurans are small to medium sized, mostly unpigmented, possess long, moniliform antennae (like a string of beads), but lack eyes. The mouthparts are entognathous, with tips of well-developed mandibles and maxillae protruding from the mouth cavity, and maxillary and labial palps reduced. The thorax is poorly differentiated from the 10-segmented abdomen. The legs are five-segmented and some abdominal segments have small styles and protrusible vesicles. A gonopore lies between segments 8 and 9, the anus is terminal. Cerci are slender to forceps-shaped. The tracheal system is relatively well developed, whereas it is absent or poorly developed in other entognath groups. Larval development is epimorphic, with segment number constant through development. Diplura undoubtedly forms the sister group to Insecta. (See also Box 9.2)

Chapter 7