Insects and their Allies  


Proturans are very small, pale, delicate hexapods usually less than 2 millimetres in body length. Although proturans are quite common they are rarely seen due to their small size. All species have the following characteristics:

Australentulus tillyardi
Australentulus tillyardi

  • Elongate, cylindrical body
  • Eyes absent
  • Antennae absent

    The forelegs of Proturans are not used for walking and are carried in a forward position that resembles antennae. As a result they are often thought to have only 2 pairs of legs and one long pair of antennae.

    Life Cycle
    Little is known of the life cycles of Australian proturans except for an egg stage and several immature instars before a species reaches maturity. Immature proturans resemble adults with less abdominal segments. They gain additional body segments as they moult and grow. It is unknown if adults continue to moult throughout their life.

Proturans are thought to feed mainly on vegetable matter or fungi.

Proturans are widespread throughout Australia, particularly in forested habitats and occur mainly in moist situations such as in soil, leaf litter or in moss. Some may be found under rocks and occasionally under the bark of trees.