Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
DescriptionAnurida maritima is a small wingless insect up to 3 mm in length. It has a cylindrical body covered with short hairs. It is a blackish-blue to slate blue in colour. The head possesses a small pair of black eyes and a single pair of short antennae. The abdomen has six segments and is plump and broad towards hind end. The thorax has a pair of legs on each of its three segments.This species is hydrophobic, the whitish coating of small hairs on the body acting as a waterproof layer. The trapped air is used for respiration. This enables Anurida maritima to withstand submersion for 2 days (and in vivo up to 5 days).
Anurida maritima feeds on dead marine animals, primarily molluscs and crustaceans. It may also feed on the inside of dead barnacles, and occasionally vegetable matter.
Females lay eggs in sites with available free water. Eggs increase in size by water uptake, increasing their resistance to mechanical disturbances and dry conditions. The eggs are pale yellow when freshly layed, turning dark orange as the developmental process proceeds. They can be found in crevices (over wintering from August to April), which provide protection from wave action. Unlike the majority of springtails (Collembola), Anurida maritima does not leap due to the atrophy of its springing organ, therefore only performing a moderate crawling motion.