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/
Sub Category: