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Superfamily: Poduroidea

 (Life: Metazoa (animals): Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Collembola)

Large accumulation of poduroids forming a purple mat on the ground. Photographed in Tanzania.

Poduroids are tiny wingless insects that live in moist situations such as leaf litter. They sometimes form large conspicuous accumulations as shown in the photograph above. The only time I have known them to be a problem to people was in a thatched restuarant: the thatch was moist and the proturans were living and breeding in it. Their numbers were reaching a level where people were noticing them drop into their soup and it was at this stage that enquiries were made at the Museum about the identification of the animal that was to blame.

 

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