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Small Bug - Isotoma delta

Small Bug - Isotoma delta
Norfolk, Virginia, USA
March 8, 2008
Size: 4mm
Any help on the ID of this bug would be greatly appreciated. Found under a piece of tree bark in a group which all scattered when I turned it over.


Isotoma delta
Note that on every segment a triangular pigmentation patch is visible middorsally, hence 'delta'.
Family = Isotomidae.

With your permission I would like to use your picture(s) of springtails as illustrations at our website
Credits and copyrights will be provided for each picture used.
Thanks in advance.

Sent you an e-mail regarding use of image....

Thank you,


Nice shot of a little Springtail. Perhaps someone can help with a more specific ID.

With a name like springtail, one would think they would be able to jump when disturbed. They just kind of amble along :^)

Perhaps it got it's name because the back end looks like a spring, instead of it had a "springy" step? Just guessing here.

It does look kinda springy
Actually, Springtails are very well named. They have a forked "tail" tucked out of sight, under their butts. When they let it rip, they're catapulted into the air. This fella looks a tad chubby to go far, but they say that if you scaled the distance up to our body size, it'd be evivalent to a human leaping over the Eifel Tower. Fortunately, on the smaller scale, they aren't squashed like we'd be from falling that far.
Cheers, Jay

Wish I ....
could have flipped this little guy over and taken a pic. When I think of springtails, I think of something like this....

This is a bristletail, not a springtail
Although many bristletails can jump very well, so it is quite easy to understand that they are confused with springtails. While bristletails jump using their legs, springtails have a unique specialised appendage, the furca, ventrally at the 4th abdominal segment, that is used for jumping. It is normally locked underneath the body. But it is springloaded, ready to be used. When released the furca hits the substrate and the specimen is projected into the air.
To find out a bit more about the furca, feel free to visit:

Thanks Frans!
Many thanks for the gracious correction. I have much to learn about these very cool creatures.

We think Frans is saying
that the image referenced by Preston #171799 is a bristletail. Preston's image here #172382 is a springtail, specifically Isotoma delta as ID'd above.

Heh heh
Thanks. Got it now. ;-)

I was referrimg to the Bristletail which really launched itself when I gently prodded it!

Ambling Springtail
This one appears to be one of the larger species. I bet if it was significantly alarmed it'd "spring" into action, but perhaps some species are less hoppy than others. ;-) Snow fleas are springtails and look very similar to this.

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