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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Order: Collembola (Springtails)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum: Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda

Springtail Seira sp. (family: Entomobryidae) feeding on fungus on tree; Kleinmond Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa. [photo H Robertson, Iziko ]

Entomobryid collembolan, Kleinmond Nature Reserve, 7 October 2005. [photo H Robertson, Iziko ]

Collembolan on underside of rock, Wildcliff Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa. [photo H Robertson, Iziko ]

Collembolan in the family Sminthuridae, taken in Cape Town garden. [photo H Robertson, Iziko ]

Large accumulation of poduroid Collembola forming a purple mat on the ground. Photographed just outside Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. [photo H Robertson, Iziko ]

Collembolans are tiny insects that usually live in moist situations such as leaf litter. They have a special springing organ folded under their body that when released sends them shooting up into the air.

Publications (by date)

  • Christiansen, K. 1992. Springtails. The Kansas School Naturalist 39(1): 3-16.

  • Janion C, Bedos A, Bengtsson J, et al. 2011. Springtail diversity in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 107(11/12), Art. #582, 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/sajs.v107i11/12.582