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 ?
The abundances of springtails, mites and earthworms are low.
The sizes of the first traps are less than 2 mm in length and, in this study, were effective in trapping small prey, notably springtails. At a certain trap size, springtails do not trigger sensory hairs and are removed from the prey spectrum, allowing for only larger, more beneficial prey to be acquired.
Springtails, on the other hand, have been documented as visitors to A.
Interestingly, when the 3D image of the springtail in amber is magnified it is possible to see that the springtail is very slightly detached (by just 50 micrometres) from the mayfly.
Christiansen (1960) described this troglobitic springtail from specimens collected from Devil's Den Kitchen Cave, Devil's Den Cave, and Granny Dean Cave, Washington County, Arkansas.
A springtail's life span depends on the species and varies greatly--it may reach about a year in the field, but often it is considerably shorter.
A previous experiment demonstrated increases in densities of Collembola (springtails), Diptera (primarily fungus gnats), and Acarina (primarily oribatid mites) in response to experimental enhancement of detritus in the litter layer (Chen and Wise 1997).
The globular springtails, from the Sminthuridae family, consume native plants, fungi and algae, causing plant damage and stripping environments of food sources usually reserved for native species.
The Arctic springtail (Collembola) Megaphorura arctica species exploits cryoprotective dehydration to enhance its cold tolerance (Holmstrup et al., 2002).
They don't specialize in springtail nuggets, but trap jaws might help with other fast--or dangerous--prey.
The 32 species of obligatory subterranean animals can be divided into three groups: (1) widespread species with ranges spanning multiple physiographic provinces, e.g., the spider Phanetta subterranea, the springtail Sinella cavernarum, and the fly Spelobia tenebrarum; (2) species inhabiting broad swaths within the Interior Low Plateau province, e.g., the isopod Caecidotea bicrenata, the crayfish Orconectes pellucidus, and the springtail Pseudosinella hirsuta; and (3) species endemic to just one or a few caves in close proximity, e.g., all of the millipedes Pseudotremia spp., the ground beetles Pseudanophthalmus spp., and the springtail Pseudosinella undescribed species.