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Related to collembolans: springtail, order Collembola


(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.


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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 ?
Jigging in the fungus-growing ant Cyphomyrmex costatus: a response to collembolan garden invaders?
Hasegawa M (2002) The response of collembolan community to the amount and composition of organic matter of a forest floor.
As showed in Figure 4 and Table I all the models could fit the collembolan SAD quite well but the difference between the expected and observed SAD still have a large significant discrepancy (indicated by Chi-square and K-S tests).
Domene X, Alcaniz JM, Andres P (2007) Ecotoxicological assessment of organic wastes using the soil collembolan Folsomia candida.
This infrequent collembolan species is known only from a few localities in moist and shaded habitats in southwest Patagonian temperate forest.
Most collembolans are extremely small and easily overlooked.
The collembolans were collected from different parts of Ladakh district using mouth operated aspirators under the leadership of Dr.
This localized change in the soil (or other substrate) composition has been demonstrated to increase litter decomposition by nematodes, mites, collembolans, and microorganisms within the nest (Paris, 2008), as well as to increase the overall abundance and biomass of these associated organisms (Beattie and Culver, 1983; Wagner et al.
Pieper S, Weigmann G (2008) Interactions between isopods and collembolans modulate the mobilization and transport of nutrients from urban soils.
Less abundant but consistently present, another ant, Monomorium ebeninum Forel, preyed mainly on Campylothorax cabana and other similarly sized and colored collembolans.
In the present study the relation between these variables and the diversity and abundance of soil collembolans was determined in 3 ecosystems in Tapanti National Park: a primary forest; a secondary forest; and a coffee plantation.