Parasmittia Strenzke



Small larvae, up to 4 mm long.


Antenna less than 1/3 length of mandible; 4 segmented; segment 1 as wide as high; segment 2 elongate; segments 3 and 4 short and subequal. Blade extending well beyond apical segment. Lauterborn organs present.


Labrum with SI of unusual structure with deeply incised lobes; remaining S setae simple although there appears to be an extra bisensillum posterior to SIV. Labral lamellae absent. Pecten epipharyngis consisting of 3 small scales. Premandible with 2 apical teeth and broad inner tooth; brush absent.


Apical tooth scarcely longer than combined width of 3 inner teeth. Seta subdentalis a small peg. Seta interna with only 3-4 finely serrate branches.


Mentum with median tooth with projecting nipple; 5 pairs of lateral teeth. Ventromental plate well developed, not extending beyond outer tooth of flattened mentum; beard absent.


Maxilla with tetrahedral lamellae of palpiger distinct. No galear lamellae. Setae maxillaris simple and short.


Body with parapods absent. Anterior 1/3 of body segment 1 with band of spines and few claws on ventral surface. Posterior segment with horseshoe shaped area of claws surrounding 2 short anal tubules; no claws at posterior margin of this area. Procercus absent; 1 very fine anal seta present.


Taxonomic Notes

The structure of the SI seta of Parasmittia is distinctive, only likely to be confused with Smittia and Antillocladius, neither of which have the short 4-segmented antenna.

Ecological Notes

The larvae of Parasmittia has been found in a humus-rich meadow and woodland soil in Germany and heathland in Brittany (France). The genus remains known only from the western Palaearctic.

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