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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Entognatha
Order: Diplura
Börner, 1904

Diplurans (Order Diplura) are a small, primitive type of hexapod. Diplurans have two long appendages at the tip of their abdomens, and are sometimes called two-pronged bristletails. True bristletails have three appendages.


Diplurans are nocturnal, wingless insects. Most are smaller than 7mm in length, although some are 10mm long. They have 1 segment long tarsi and chewing mouthparts that are concealed in a pouch. Besides differing from bristletails in the number of tails and the concealment of the mouthparts, they have shallower bodies and lack compound eyes and scales.

Life Cycle

Diplurans undergo simple metamorphosis. Nymphs of this order are smaller versions of the adult.


Diplurans live under leaves, stones, logs, or under bark.


Diplurans were also formerly in the order Thysanura, or bristletails. They differ from true bristletails in the number of appendages at the tip of their abdomen, and their morphological origin. Diplurans have two such long appendages in the form of modified cerci. Even more recently, diplurans were thought to be insects, along with bristletails and proturans.

Number of species

There are 25 species found in North America, and 400 worldwide.


There are two suborders in this order.