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Related to collembolan: springtail


(invertebrate zoology)
The springtails, an order of primitive insects in the subclass Apterygota having six abdominal segments.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In some soil test soils types, avoidance behaviour exhibited at low concentrations (1 mg/kg) Heupel (2002), Dose-dependent avoidance of the Germany: standard collembolan Isotoma anglicana, soil Heteromurus nitidus, Lepidocyrtus violaceus, Folsomia candida, and Onychiurus armatus Kinney et al.
Effects of collembolan grazing on nitrogen dynamics in a coniferous forest.
Collembolan fauna of the cape province, with special reference to the genus Seira Lubbock.
Collembolan densities were not significantly affected by sifting the litter or by removing and excluding natural enemies.
Subarctic collembolans have strong associations with mosses and lichens and are sensitive to changes in moisture and climate (Babenko, 2000).
Cassagne N, Bal-Serin M, Gers C, Gauquelin T (2004) Changes in humus properties and collembolan communities following the replanting of beech forests with spruce.
Succession of collembolan communities during decomposition of leaf and root litter: effects of litter type and position.
Drought acclimation confers cold tolerance in the soil collembolan Folsomia Candida.
Effects of transgenic rice expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab protein on ground-dwelling collembolan community in postharvest seasons.
Changes in collembolan species composition in Eastern German mine sites over fifty years of primary succession.