i5K: Trentino Conehead
Trentino Conehead (Acerentomon maius)
Photo by Johannes Dambach
The Bonn group,
Contact: Oliver Niehuis
Size (or size of nearest relative):
Keywords (and why important):
Representative of Protura: the conehead Acerentomon maius is a soil dwelling primarily wingless hexapod feeding on fungi. Protura, one of the oldest lineages of Hexapoda, are characterized by a number of peculiarities. Most conspicuous is the lack of antenna, which are functionally replaced by the forelegs. Protura are unique among hexapods by adding segments during postembryonic development. Underrepresented in comparative studies, proturans are imperative to understand the early steps of terrestrialization.
Protura are critical for understanding the evolutionary origin of Hexapoda (e.g., terrestrialization), the evolutionary origin of wings (ancestral condition in Protura), and the evolution of direct sperm transfer (ancestral condition in Protura).