Blind springtails

Most members of this family are slender and pale or white. A few species have cither blue-gray or slightly red coloration. As their common name suggests, the vast majority of blind springtails have no eyes. They do not have a furcula, although some species may have the vestigal remains of one. The body has a small number of thin-walled spots, or pores, on the cuticle of most segments, through which a noxious liquid can be secreted in order to deter predators.

• LIFE CYCLE Eggs are laid in soil, leaf litter, decaying wood, and fungi. I hc nymphs look like small adults, and molting continues after they become sexually mature.

• Occurrence Worldwide, in forests and pastures, and in caves, alpine areas, and even the Arctic. In soil, leaf litter, rotting wood, and the fruiting bodies of fungi.

fine hairs on surface of body

ONYCHIIJRIJS SPECIES are typical of the soil-dwelling springtails. Some species in this genus may be found in seashore habitats.

coloration \

fine hairs on surface of body

ONYCHIIJRIJS SPECIES are typical of the soil-dwelling springtails. Some species in this genus may be found in seashore habitats.

coloration \

many individuals legs paler crowded together in

0rder COLLKMBOLA

0rder COLLKMBOLA

Family SMINTHl IR I DAK

No. of species 900

e watkr springtail

I he single species in this family - Podura aquatica - is a very minute and common springtail. It varies in color from brown or red-brown to dark blue or black. Its furcula is extremely well adapted for life on the water. It is quite flat and long, reaching the abdominal ventral tube (which helps the springtail to grip the water surface).

• LlFF CYCLE This species spends much of its life scavenging on the surface of water. Its eggs are laid among vegetation found in and around bodies of water.

• OCCURRENCE Northern Hemisphere. On the surface of fresh water in ditches, ponds, canals, and boggy areas.

• REMARK The furcula is particularly long in this species because a large area of it must be in contact with the elastic film that exists on the surface of water for the Water Springtail to jump effectively.

Feeding habits many individuals legs paler crowded together in

POD I IRA AQUATICA is well adapted to life on water. It is even found in puddles, especially in summer, and may gather in such large numbers that the puddle appears dark in color, as if covered in soot.

pate, spherical conspicuous, distinctive, dark long

Globular springtails

Also known as garden springtails, these species are pale to dark brown or green in coloration, with spherical bodies. The segmentation on the abdomen is indistinct, and the antennae are noticeably long and elbowed. The males are often different in appearance to the females.

• LIFE CYCLE In many males, the antennae are designed to hold the female during mating. Eggs arc laid in small batches in soil, and development to sexual maturity may take as little as one month. There is some evidence of maternal care.

• OCCl RRENCE Worldwide. In a wide variety of habitats, 011 trees, in leaf litter, 011 the fruiting bodies of fungi, and on the surface of freshwater in ditches, bogs, and ponds. Also in damp places such as caves.

• REMARK Several species are significant pests of crop seedlings. Sminthurus viridis, which is commonly known as the Lucerne Flea, is a widespread pest of alfalfa and some vegetables - as many as 70,000 globular springtails have been recorded in just one square meter of pasture.

SMINTHl HIDES AQUATIC I S is widespread © on the surface of ponds and stagnant water but * does not gather in such large numbers as the Water Springtail (see above).

pate, spherical conspicuous, distinctive, dark long

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