Apterygota comprise the 5 orders of primitive wingless, non-metamorphosing Hexapods: Collembola, Protura, Diplura, Archaeognatha and Zygentoma.


Presentation
The Apterygota collection (including primitive wingless Hexapods) includes Collembola, Protura, Diplura, Zygentoma (silverfish) and Archaeognatha (or Microcoryphia), with the latter 2 orders formerly known as Thysanura. The collection is home to hundreds of thousands of specimens, with over 50,000 displayed on microscope slides and the rest conserved in ethanol. There are around 1,000 type specimens. The collection is the result of several collections of work being brought together. The Collembola collection is the largest of its kind in the world.

History
This collection was formed from specimens harvested in the field by J.R. Denis, Claude Delamare-Deboutteville, Jean-Pierre Thibaud, Jean-Marie Betsch, Zaher Massoud, Judith Najt, Louis Deharveng, Paul Cassagnau and Cyrille D’Haese. The Archaeognatha and Zygentoma collections are made up of specimens harvested by Petr Wygodzinsky. The general collection was assembled during field missions mainly carried out in the European and Mediterranean regions, tropical America, Africa and Asia, and New Caledonia. The group is gathered together as one indivisible lot within the Muséum’s entomology unit, where it is managed by Cyrille D’Haese, head of the collection.

Research
The research areas related to the collection are systematics, biogeography, phylogeny and ecology. Many international collaborations have been based around this collection, in particular with Australia, Mexico, Brazil, China, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Russia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Cyrille D’Haese keeps a bibliographical database associated with this collection, which is one of the biggest in the world (around 7,500 items) with offprints as well as electronic articles. A biennial publication, the FIA (Feuilles d’Information Aptérygotologiques), is sent to over a hundred researchers around the world.

 

Caledonimeria mirabilis, a Poduromorph Collembola species native to New Caledonia © Cyrille D'Haese

Caledonimeria mirabilis, a Poduromorph Collembola species native to New Caledonia © Cyrille D'Haese, by Cyrille D'Haese