Symphilid Scutigerella immaculata

In greenhouse crops, root hairs are removed and may cause lettuce to mature without a heart. Infectious fungi, e.g. Botrytis, may enter the roots after symphilid damage. These delicate white creatures, with 12 pairs of legs, resemble small millipedes. The adult female, 6 mm long, lays eggs in the soil all the year round, and the development through larvae to the adult takes about 3 months. Symphilids may migrate 2 m down into soil during hot, dry weather. The recognition of this pest is made easier by dipping a suspect root and its surrounding soil into a bucket of water and searching for symphilids which float on the water surface.

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