Meet the Springtail

Orchesella cincta (Photo by Mvuijlst - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Orchesella cincta (Photo by Mvuijlst – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)

Springtails are all around us.

Springtails (Collembola) are hexapods but not insects, being members of the insects’ sister class Entognatha (which also includes proturans and diplurans). They are tiny (<6mm), and numerous, occurring at densities up to around 100,000 per square meter of topsoil. They are important components of forest floor ecosystems, and some species can also be found floating on the surface of stagnant water. Continue reading “Meet the Springtail”