Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Unknown Springtails - Ceratophysella

Unknown Springtails - Ceratophysella
Creighton, Northern, Saskatchewan, Canada
July 29, 2015
I have a couple of pails I use for the garden and when it is supposed to rain I turn them upside down. There is a very small lip on the bottom that catches a couple of mls of water and in the water I usually see a small flotilla of these guys. Where do they come from and what kind are they?


Ceratophysella sp.
These Collembola specimens are trapped on the watersurface. Due to meniscus effects on the edges of the watersurfacefilm the specimens cannot escape from it once they did jump (by accident) onto the water surface.

Thanks Frans!
So do they live in that skim of water until it evaporates and then crawl/jump away?

They also may jump away from it: the ones that can climb up a raft of specimens can escape by jumping away from it. But often many will end up dead. The watersurfacetension will be lowered by decomposition of dead organic material (such as leaves). The specimens will not be able to float on the water anymore. Eventually they will drown... Their dead bodies will contribute to the decomposition process and speed up the deadly fate of the still remaining living specimens.
So these watersurfaces in gardens often are death traps for Collembola.
Putting a sponge or piece of tissue/cloth on top of your upturned buckets may help preventing problems for the Collembola.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.