Springtails in Alaska
- Springtails are one of the most numerous macro creatures
- I have seen estimates of 100,000 per square meter
- They are not insects but belong to a group of invertebrates called Hexapods
- They have a tail-like appendage called a furcula, held under tension below the abdomen.
- When released, the furcula snaps outward, propelling the tiny creature into the air.
- They are very numerous in the soil and may be important for the health of the soil
- In winter you can often see them on the snow
- One study indicated that they do this to move for fairly long distances
- It indicated they can do this in a straight line by orientating on the sun or dark horizon
- Several insects come onto the snow to feed on them
- For information about springtails look at http://www.collembola.org/