Superkingdom Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Superclass Hexapoda
Class Entognatha
Order Collembola

Common name: Springtails

Description: Small, wingless, mouthparts entognathous, antennae present, thoracic segments like those of abdomen, legs four-segments, abdomen six-segments with sucker-like ventral tube and forked jumping organ, without cerci; the immature insect resembles a small adult, with constant segment number. The eyes and/or ocelli are poorly developed or absent.

Fun facts: There are approximately 6500 species in 18 or 19 families. Among hexapods, Collembola eggs are unique in that they are microlecithal (lacking large yolk reserves and holoblastic (with complete cleavage). Most often are found in moist soil and litter, where they are major consumers of decaying vegetation, but they also occur in caves, in fungi, commensally with ants and termites, on still water surfaces and in the inter-tidal zone. Most species feed on fungal hyphae or dead plant material, some species eat other small invertebrates, and very few species are harmful to living plants. Springtails can reach very high densities (e.g. 10,000 to 100,000 individuals/m2) and are ecologically important in adding nutrients to the soil via their feces and in facilitating decomposition processes.

sourced, in part, by The Insects: An outline of entomology, second ed. Gullan, P.J. and P.S. Cranston. Blackwell Science, Great Britain, 2000.

Col*lem"bo*la (?), n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. glue + wedge, peg; -- so called from their having collophores.] Zool.

The division of Thysanura which includes Podura, and allied forms.


© Webster 1913.

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