Hopland REC’s blind silverfish brought to light at the bioblitz



An immature, blind soil-dwelling silverfish (Zygentoma: Nicoletiidae) found at Hopland REC. (about 6mm long) Photo by Joyce Gross.


The recent Hopland Bioblitz was a chance to really dig in and sample insects. One exciting find was a wee beastie in a family of silverfish that is very little-known in California. These blind soil-dwellers were only recently recognized from the state when a new species was described from Mt. Diablo just two years ago [1]! Three specimens were found during the bioblitz effort appear to be another undescribed species (see image above). Two individuals were first collected in buried traps and the third was found by searching under rocks at night in a cool gully on the property.

We continue to sort and identify the insects and spiders collected during the bioblitz and expect to report  more new records and new species.

Espinasa, L. and Botelho, J.  (2014) A New Species of Speleonycta (Insecta: Zygentoma) from the Bay Area of San Francisco, California. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 127(2): 335-339.

p.s. I want to mention I collected two nicoletiids at Mangini Ranch near Mt. Diablo in 2013 in buried traps but didn’t know their significance at the time.


About Kip Will

I'm an insect systematist with expertise in carabid beetles, who is always happiest in the bush.
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