This is a large and cosmopolitan family and the species are frequently encountered and often brightly colored. These spring-tails are 0.4-2.7 mm long and have a characteristic globular-shaped body. The abdominal segments are indistinct, and the antennae are longer than the head. Most species are exceptional jumpers. The subfamily Bourletiellinae contains the widespread species, Bourletiella hortensis, which is common in peridomestic gardens and some agricultural fields. Males in Sminthuridinae have their antennae modified for clasping females during mating. These small (about 1 mm long) spring-tails are often on the surface of fresh water. The Sminthuridinae are mainly distributed in the northern hemisphere and the tropics. The Lucerne flea, Sminthurus viridis, has been transported to many regions of the world where it is a pest of field clover.

Seedling springtail, Bourletiella hortensis The adultfemale is about 1.8 mm long; the male is about 1.2 mm long. The body is mottled blue to purple, and the area between the eyes is yellow to orange. The abdomen has scattered pale spots. This species is common in spring and early summer, and it is known to attack seedlings.

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