springtail

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springtail,

common name for any of the minute, primitive six-legged arthropods of the order Collembola. The springtail is named for a springlike mechanism on the underside of the abdomen. When at rest, the organ is folded forward and held in place under tension by a clasping structure; when the mechanism is released, the insect is able to jump a distance many times its own length. Of cosmopolitan distribution, springtails may be found in moist, dark places, on the surface of freshwater or tidal pools, and even on snow. They feed on decaying vegetation, algae, pollen, and other materials. Springtails are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Entognatha, order Collembola.
References in periodicals archive ?
Many springtail species interfere directly and indirectly with decomposition because they eat the available organic material and still associate themselves with microorganisms and fungi (ZEPPELINI FILHO & BELLINI, 2004).
Altogether 27 species of springtails were found but of all specimens, only ten species accounted for more than 1%.
Our findings indicate that springtails nevertheless warrant investigation as pollinators for Jack-in-the-pulpits.
This was found in a piece of Baltic amber where five springtails were hooked in a row on the leg of a harvestman arachnid.
All around the second-growth vegetation, the fallen trees and branches rot and crumble offering hiding places and food to a vast array of basidiomycete fungi, slime molds, ponerine ants, scolytid beetles, bark lice, earwigs, embiopteran web spinners, zorapterans, entomobryomorph springtails, japygid diplurans, schizomid arachnids, pseudoscorpions, real scorpions, and other forms that live mostly or exclusively in this habitat.
In 1996, firefighters in Austria were called out to clean up a chemical spill on a road, only to discover the patch was in fact several million springtails.
Slugs, snails, harvestmen, worms, beetles, flies, ants, springtails, earwigs, spiders, mites, millipedes, centipedes and woodlice suddenly appear to be trapped and examined in magnifying jars.
Examples of insects with this type of metamorphosis are silverfish and springtails.
Springtails, cockroaches, crickets, flies, isopods, bristletails, and true bugs were grabbed by the forelegs and held in a basket-like manner using the first three pairs of legs.
The different groups that are dealt with in detail include mites from the family Cunaxidae, pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpionides), springtails (Collembola), booklice (Psocoptera), earwigs (Dermaptera), beetles (Coleoptera) belonging to some 17 different families, including such important ones as the ground beetles (Carabidae), hide and carpet beetles (Dermestidae), blister beetles (Meloidae) and weevils (Curculionoidea).
Food also is an issue: when you are an inch long, you can't eat a cricket, so we had to produce our own food including fruit flies and springtails (teeny tiny mite-like insects) that the toads relish.