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a class of small terrestrial arthropods, which formerly were considered a subclass of Myriapoda. The elongate or oval body is up to 1.5 mm long. The integuments of pauropods lack inclusions of calcium carbonate. The head bears a pair of biramous antennae (in contrast to Myriapoda). There are two pairs of jaws—mandibles and maxillae. The trunk has 11 segments, and there are usually nine pairs of walking legs (less frequently, seven or 11 pairs). Respiration is cutaneous.
There are more than 200 species of pauropods, inhabiting moist soil and rotting wood, principally in regions with a mild climate. The arthropods are predators and feed predominantly on small acarians.