Pauropod Checklist

Pauropodidae ~ Photo: Stewart Bevan

Pauropods of Britain and Ireland

Pauropods are tiny myriapods, up to 1.5 mm long, with 9-11 leg bearing segments in the adult. The body shape is variable but in all but one of the British species they are elongate, whitish animals (Pauropodidae, top image, e.g. Pauropus huxleyi). The exception is the rather stout Trachypauropus britannicus (Eurypauropodidae, bottom image).  They are widely distributed in leaf litter and soil and can sometimes be found under stones. All share the characteristic feature of their biramous antennae.

Occurrence in most environments is very patchy but there is a report of up to 250 per square metre in oak & pine stands in eastern North America. They are, however, rarely seen by most workers. According to Ulf Scheller, the best way to spot them on the underside of a stone is to blow gently over the surface. “They can be recognised immediately by the way they run. Although superficially like slow moving collembolans, pauropods run rapidly forwards, they stop they run backwards or twist their bodies in many directions.”

A widespread species that is relatively easy to identify is Allopauropus (Decapauropus) gracilis


  • Barber, A.D., Blower, J.G., Scheller, U. (1992). Pauropoda, the smallest Myriapods. Bulletin of the British Myriapod Group 8: 13-24. 
  • Oliver, P.G. & Amsden, A.F. (1982). The Pauropoda. Nature in Wales 1: 33-38.
  • Scheller,U. (1990). A list of the British Pauropoda with a description of a new species of Eurypauropodidae (Myriapoda). Journal of Natural  History 24: 1179-1195.


 Trachypauropus britannicus Photo: Stewart Bevan

Checklist of British and Irish  species from Scheller (1990)

               Family Pauropodidae
                    Subfamily Pauropodinae
                    Allopauropus brevisetus Silvestri,1902
                    Allopauropus danicus (Hansen, 1902)
                    Allopauropus broelemanni Remy, 1935
                    Allopauropus cuenoti (Remy, 1931)
                    Allopauropus distinctus Remy, 1936
                    Allopauropus gracilis (Hansen, 1902)
                               = Decapauropus gracilis (Hansen, 1902)
                    Allopauropus helveticus (Hansen, 1902)
                    Allopauropus milloti Remy, 1945
                    Allopauropus millotianus Leclerc, 1953
                    Allopauropus multiplex Remy, 1936
                    Allopauropus productus Silvestri, 1902
                    Allopauropus remyi (Bagnall, 1935)
                    Allopauropus thalassophilus Remy, 1935
                    Allopauropus vulgaris (Hansen, 1902)
                    Pauropus furcifer Silvestri, 1902
                    Pauropus huxleyi Lubbock, 1867
                    Pauropus lanceolatus Remy, 1956
                    Stylopauropus brito Remy, 1949
                    Stylopauropus pedunculatus (Lubbock, 1867)
                    Stylopauropus pubescens (Hansen, 1902)
                    Subfamily Scleropauropodinae
                    Scleropauropus lyrifer Remy, 1936
                    Subfamily Polypauropodinae
                    Polypauropus duboscqi Remy, 1932
               Family Eurypauropodidae
                    Subfamily Eurypauropodinae
                    Trachypauropus britannicus Scheller, 1990