Proturans are common in surface layers of the soil, often occurring in huge densities. Protura are very reduced in many morphological characters, lacking eyes, antennae and the tentorium (the chitinous internal skeleton of the head in insects). The front legs are much enlarged and covered with sensory hairs - they act in place of the antennae.

Protura are very small, less than 2mm long. The abdomen is long, with 12 segments in the adult, but fewer in juveniles; new segments are added at the time of moulting.


 Elongate body, lacking antennae and eyes


Live in shallow soil


With around 500 described species world wide, Protura are a relatively minor hexapod group.

Major Subgroups

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