Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Collembola: springtail


(invertebrate zoology)
The springtails, an order of primitive insects in the subclass Apterygota having six abdominal segments.



(springtails), an order of primitively wingless insects. Many taxonomists treat the Collembola as a special class. Springtails range in length from 0.2 to 2 mm; rarely are they as long as 5 to 10 mm. There are soil forms of Collembola, such as Tullbergia, which have unpigmented skin and a homonomously dissected abdomen and lack eyes and spring. Such semi-soil types as Istoma have a weakly developed spring, while forms that inhabit the forest litter, for example, Tomocerus, have a strong spring and well-developed eyes. Forms such as Sminthurus, which live on plants, have a well-developed spring, eyes, a fused body, and tracheas.

Springtails are very common in woods, steppes, and meadows; hundreds of thousands of them are found per sq m. Most are saprophagans or feed on the mycelium of fungus; there are also predators and scavengers. Springtails play a large part in soil formation and in the cycle of materials in an ecosystem. Some live on the surface of water (fresh waters and sea), and there are numerous cave forms. Some species, for example, Sminthurus viridis, damage plants, particularly legumes. Fossil springtails have been traced to Devonian deposits.


Opredelitel’ nasekomykh Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol 3. Moscow, 1969.
Bei-Bienko, G. Ia. Obshchaia entomologiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1971.
Gisin, H. Collembolenfauna Europas. Geneva, 1960.
Stach, J. The Apterygotan Fauna of Poland in Relation to the World Fauna of This Group of Insects, vols. 1–9. Kraków, 1947–63.


References in periodicals archive ?
The most abundant visitors captured were Collembola (springtails) and Diptera (flies) with mean capture rates of 1.
An increase in the food source can trigger population growth because Collembola may reproduce rapidly in response to a disturbance (Domene et al.
The study showed that the abundance of one species of Collembola on a site was a better indicator of time since fire than plant biomass, although these animals did not occur at all localities sampled and only responded to time since fire at the lowest altitude.
Spider predation on forest-floor Collembola and evidence for indirect effects on decomposition.
Pontos 1 2 3 4 5 Annelida Hyrudinea 0 0 0 13 3 Oligochaeta 97 180 259 0 20 Mollusca Bivalve 241 88 99 0 10 Gastropoda 25 2 433 4 20 Plathyelmintes Turbellaria 48 7 178 0 28 Artropoda Crustacea Aeglidae 2 5 1 0 6 Hyallelidae 5 0 0 0 21 Aracnida Acari 5 1 21 0 16 Aracnidae 1 0 0 0 1 Insecta Collembola 73 33 4 0 8 Coleoptera Elmidae 575 164 1.
The broad-spectrum anti-parasite Ivermectin was shown to be toxic to collembola at concentrations as low as 0.
Sinella curviseta, Insecta: Collembola, are abundant, widespread insects.
Orders of arachnids and insects represented in the sampling included: Araneae, Coleoptera, Collembola, Diptera, Hemiptera, Homoptera, Hymenoptera, Neuroptera, Orthoptera, Thysanoptera, and Lepidoptera.
This difference is due to the contribution of other groups that might be abundant in the surrounding habitat, as was the case of Collembola, which dominated in litter at our study site.
This reflected a decline in Collembola and the elimination of aphids (Hemiptera).
Diversity and classification of insects and collembola.