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

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of 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

Previous events


Order Springtails - Springtails and allies

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
No Taxon (pics in gallery of the Spencer Entomological Collection)
Class Entognatha ([obsolete rank] - elevate included Orders to Class)
Order Springtails (Springtails and allies)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
This page is obsolete; Collembola is now considered a class(1).
Explanation of Names
The name Collembola is derived from the Greek "coll" meaning glue and "embol" meaning a wedge; refers to a peg-shaped structure, the collophore, on the underside of the first abdominal segment. The collophore was once thought to function as an adhesive organ.
2 suborders (Arthropleona and Symphypleona) and over 300 species in North America.
body length 6 mm or less
Minute wingless hexapods. Body elongate or oval. Abdomen with 6 or fewer segments. Usually a forked structure (furcula) on 4th or 5th abdominal segment, and a small tubular structure (collophore) on the first abdominal segment. Antennae short, 4-6 segmented. (2)
Species with a furcula are jumpers; the furcula is normally folded under the abdomen, and the insect jumps by suddenly extending the furcula ventrally and posteriorly. (2)
Collembola have a ventral tube. From this tube they can everse two 'sacs'.
Eyes: The black patches on the head are the lateral eye clusters. Each eye patch is composed out of max 8 single eyes. In the Collembola bodyplan, the eye cluster has 6 fotosensitive single eyes and 2 single eyes that are sensitive to polarised light. In many Collembola the number of single eyes in the eye cluster is reduced. In many soil and cave species the single eyes are completely absent. Collembola have also frontal eyes. In the large facial space below/between the antennae you will often see a kind of dark spot. This spot marks the location of the frontal eyes. These are embedded deep into the skin and have no external (domelike) components.

See a photo of these eye features at
Springtails occur in soil and leaf litter, under bark and in decaying wood, in fungi, and on the surface of water; a few occur on vegetation. (2)
Springtails are probably the most abundant hexapods on Earth, with up to 250 million individuals per acre. (
Print References
"Peterson's Field Guide to Insects" pages 63-65. (2)
(3) pages 152-154.
Internet References by BugGuide contributor Frans Janssens et al is a comprehensive site on Collembola, with lots of info and references, and many live photos from around the world.
North Carolina State University has information. has info and an amazing scanning electron micrograph of a Globular Springtail.
Krister Hall has many excellent close-up photos of live Collembola from Sweden has a nice overview.
Works Cited
1.Springtails and allies
2.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
3.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.