Proturans (Order Protura) are an order of hexapods which are so small they can only be identified with a microscope and remained undiscovered until 1907. They have no sensory organs, hence the name of the order, which means "simple tail."
Proturans are small and unpigmented, measuring 0.6-1.5 mm in length. They have a conical head with no eyes or antennae, and lack wings and cerci. They hold their fore-legs in front of them, resembling antennae. The abdomen of the adult has 12 segments, more than any other insect. Each of the 3 basal segments has a pair of short styli (finger-like organs). Their mouthparts are used for sucking.
Proturans are mostly found in moist soil, in rotting wood, under bark, in moss and leaf mold. They eat decaying organic matter.
Number of species
There are 20 species found in North America, and there are 118 worldwide.
There are two suborders in this order.