Collembola

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Related to collembolans: springtail, order Collembola

Collembola

[kə′lem·bə·lə]
(invertebrate zoology)
The springtails, an order of primitive insects in the subclass Apterygota having six abdominal segments.

Collembola

 

(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.

REFERENCES

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.

M. S. GILIAROV

References in periodicals archive ?
A new species of Entomobrya (Collembola, Entomobryidae) from La Caldera de Taburiente National Park (La Palma Is land, Canary Islands) and its associated collembolan fauna.
Collembolan fauna of the cape province, with special reference to the genus Seira Lubbock.
The present study showed that the number of bacterivorous nematodes and collembolans increased quickly in response to external input.
Domene X, Alcaniz JM, Andres P (2007) Ecotoxicological assessment of organic wastes using the soil collembolan Folsomia candida.
Less abundant but consistently present, another ant, Monomorium ebeninum Forel, preyed mainly on Campylothorax cabana and other similarly sized and colored collembolans.
They were fed with the collembolan Sinella curviseta Brooks.
In addition to Uoorobovella deutonymphs, collembolans were observed on the fibers of some of the cocoons of R.
To this group belonged collembolans, an aphid, opilionids, a Leptothorax ant, oecobiids, theridiid spiders, and conspecific males.