back to HYPP Zoology home page

Scutigerella immaculata (Newport)
Myriapoda, Symphyla, Scutigerellidae .

Garden symphylan, Glasshouse symphilid

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- Adult: small white or yellowish, 5 to 8 mm long, with a soft, translucent integument revealing in particular the contents of the digestive tract (*) . Moves very rapidly in fissures and small cavities in the soil. Long antennae, 12 pairs of legs, 15 dorsal plates with rounded angles and a slightly angled rear edge (*) .
- Juveniles: the first instar possesses 6 pairs of legs. It acquires an additional pair of legs at each moult, and becomes morphologically adult at the seventh instar.
- Eggs: spherical, covered with plates to form an hexagonal network.

- The symphylid can be found in relatively stable foci in cultivated soil, the texture of which permits the appearance of fissures, microcavities and earthworm galleries favourable to its movement. Well adapted to life in the soil, the symphylid undertakes seasonal or daily vertical migrations between the surface and a depth in the soil which may be greater than 50 cm. Population levels in cultivated soil may reach about 100 to 600 individuals per square metre.
- Adults: live for a long time, probably several years, moulting at more or less regular intervals. Between each moult, it may or may not feed. Spring populations are made up of adults only. Symphylids feed on algae, fungi and mosses; however, at certain periods, they are attracted by seeds and very young roots, where they eat the extremities, and by older roots which they chew, eating the absorbant hairs (*) .
- The duration of development from an egg to an adult is relatively rapid for a myriapod: 2 months at 27_C, 6 months at 5C. Egg laying appears possible only at a temperature above 10C.

[R]Life Cycle
- Most egg laying occurs in spring, but some continues until autumn. Under favourable conditions, individuals arising out of spring eggs may mature and lay eggs at the beginning of the autumn.

- Attacks on seeds and roots cause a reduction in density, slowing in growth and decreased yield. Damage is frequent in glasshouses and cultivated fields. In the open, damage is particularly marked in young, widely separated plants such as beet, maize and potato.

[R]Common Names
DE: Spinnenasseln ES: Escutigeras FR: Scutigerelle IT: Scutigere PT: Scutigerela do milho GB: Garden symphylan, Garden Centipede, Glasshouse symphilid

[R] Images

  1. Scutigerella immaculata (Newport) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Adult on the ground
  2. Scutigerella immaculata (Newport) (Versailles V.)
    Adult amongst roots
  3. Scutigerella immaculata (Newport) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Affected white onion roots

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

back to HYPP Zoology home page