i5K: Hrabe's jumping bristletail
Hrabe's jumping bristletail (Machilis hrabei)
Photo by Nikola Szucsich
Contact: Oliver Niehuis
Size (or size of nearest relative):
Keywords (and why important):
Representative of Archaeognatha: the jumping bristletail Machilis hrabei lives in rocky areas, feeding on lichens and mosses. Many scientists assume that Archaeognatha most likely look like the last common ancestor of all Hexapoda.
Archaeognatha have an interesting mating behavior: their spermatophores are typically deposited on carrier-threads, which are taken up by females after a proceeding and often complicated courtship behavior.
Archaeognatha are critical for understanding the evolutionary origin of Hexapoda (e.g., terrestrialization), the evolutionary origin of wings (ancestral condition in Archaeognatha), and the evolution of direct sperm transfer (ancestral condition in Archaeognatha).