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(Extension, Purdue University)
Common Name: Springtail

Order: Collembola

Family: Entomobryidae

Pest Status: Springtails can become nuisance pests in homes when populations are very high.

Appearance: Springtails are small (1/16-inch long), primitive, wingless insects. Body color varies, ranging from dark to light shades of gray. Some are patterned or iridescent due to the presence of body scales. Springtails jump using an unusual forked structure (furcula) located on the ends of their abdomens, that act like springs, propelling them into the air.

Life Cycle: Females lay their eggs singly or in clusters. After about 10 days, the eggs hatch into juveniles that appear similar to the adults. In about one week, and after five to eight molts, the juveniles become adults. Adults will continue to molt and are long-lived, with some individuals living for more than one year.

Where to Collect: Springtails are commonly found in moist or damp places, usually in contact with soil.