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Class Collembola (Springtails) in the Christopher B. Smith Preserve

Class Collembola Characteristics: Collembolans are omnivorous, scavenging organic matter (e.g. algae, decaying vegetation, soil fungi, pollen, insect feces, and rotting fruit) from their surroundings. A few are predators.

The name "Collembola" originates from the Greek words colle (glue) and embolon (piston or peg). Most collembolans are less than 6 mm in length and have internal mouth parts, six or fewer abdominal segments, and a ventral, tubular appendage (a collophore) projecting from the first abdominal segment. The function of the collophore is thought to absorb moisture from the environment and help the springtail maintain water balance.

Most collembolans have a fork-like appendage (furcula) on the 4th segment of the abdomen. The furcula is folded under the body and used for jumping away from predators. This structure gives the collembolan its common name "springtail."

Unlike most hexapods (arthropods with six legs) that have a tracheal respiratory system, springtails respire directly through their porous skin. Springtails are very sensitive to desiccation and high temperature. When they molt, they have the ability to decrease their body size by up to 30%. Since warmer temperatures increase the metabolic rate and energy requirement, shrinkage is an adaptation that helps them survive. Springtails molt throughout their entire lives. When molting, springtails hide to find protection from predation.

They normally live in leaf litter and other decaying materials. Their numbers make them one of the most abundant of all macroscopic animals. (Macroscopic animals are those large enough to be seen without aid of a microscope.) A cubic meter of topsoil, covered in moss, fallen wood, grass, and ant or termite nests may contain 100,000 individuals. Pheromones, excreted by adult springtails, may cause them to be gregarious.

Because of their sensitivity to toxins and environmental changes, springtails are used in laboratory testing for the early detection of soil pollution.

There are three orders of collembolans: Poduromorpha, Entomobryomorpha, and Symphypleona. The first two have elongated bodies, the third has a globular body structure. All three orders have been found in the Smith Preserve and are listed in alphabetical order below.

Interactions in the Smith Preserve: Since springtails are detritivores (consumers of detritus) and microbivores (consumers of micro-organisms), they are a very important biological agent responsible for the control and dissemination of soil microorganisms. They contribute indirectly to decomposition by fragmentation of organic matter, and in this way, help recycle organic materials.

Order
Family
Species Name
Common Name
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Entomobrya clitellaria
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Entomobrya sp.
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Lepidocyrtus cyaneus
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Lepidocyrtus fimicolus
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Lepidocyrtus floridensis
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Lepidocyrtus pallidus ?
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Lepidocyrtus prope-fimicolus
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Lepidocyrtus sp.
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Orchesella ainsliei
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Orchesella alpha
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Orchescella bulba
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Orchesella sp.
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Seira bipunctata
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Seira brasiliana
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Seira prope-bipunctata
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Seira knowltoni
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Seira sp.
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Seira sp.
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Willowsia nigromaculata
Entomobryomorpha
Entomobryidae
Unknown
Entomobryomorpha
Isotomidae
Unknown
Entomobryomorpha
Isotomidae
Unknown
Entomobryomorpha
Paronellidae
Salina banksi
Entomobryomorpha
Paronellidae
Salina beta
Poduromorpha
Onychiuridae
Unknown
Poduromorpha
Hypogastruridae
Unknown
Poduromorpha
Unknown
Unknown
Poduromorpha
Unknown
Unknown
Poduromorpha
Unknown
Unknown
Symphypleona
Bourletiellidae
Bourietiella rustica
Symphypleona
Dicyrtomidae
Calvatomina sp.
Symphypleona
Dicyrtomidae
Unknown
Symphypleona
Dicyrtomidae
Unknown
Symphypleona
Sminthurididae
Sminthurides occultus
Symphypleona
Sminthurididae
Sphaeridia pumilis

 

Order Entomobryomorpha

 

Family Entomobryidae

Entomobrya clitellaria ... Slender Springtail

This very young, .5 mm long collembolan was living in leaf litter in the oak hammock in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. It was isolated from the leaf litter with a Berlese Funnel on December 17, 2014. This photograph was produced using photomicroscopy.

On January 3, 2015, this springtail was identified from this photograph as possibly Entomobrya clitellaria by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <Bugguide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Dr. Janssens stated, "Given the 'dark' th.2 abd.3. But still more an educated guess then an identification..."

Janssens is with the University Department of Entomology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, B-2020, Belgium, and he is an authority on collembola: Bellinger, P.F., Christiansen, K.A. & Janssens, F. 1996-2014. Checklist of the Collembola of the World.<http://www.collembola.org>.

Entomobrya clitellaria was described as a species in 1903 by Guthrie.

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Family Entomobryidae

Entomobrya sp. ... Slender Springtail

The individuals shown here were hidden inside folded leaves of a Ficus aurea (Strangler Fig). Some individuals were under silk webbing. Many molted, springtail exoskeletons were inside the leaves.

On February 23, 2014, these springtails were identified as Entomobrya sp. from these photographs by Frans Janssens (Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, B-2020, Belgium), Contributor to <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology Department. Species within this genus are often differentiated by hair size, shape, and location.

The individual in the 3rd photograph was 1.5 mm long.

Photograph 4 shows eggs that were inside one of the folded leaves occupied by some springtails. Many of these eggs had previously hatched. It has been confirmed by Frans Janssens that these are not springtail eggs. However, since springtails are scavengers, Janssens thinks "they might be attracted by the eggshells or exuvies as a food source."

 

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Family Entomobryidae

Lepidocyrtus cyaneus ... Slender Springtail

On January 3, 2017, two individuals of this species were isolated from the same leaf litter sample, collected beneath a Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto Bush) and a Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) tree in the center of the Preserve, just north of Smith Preserve Way. .

The first individual (shown in the above 4 photographs) was .5 mm long. The second specimen (shown below) was .6 mm long.

Images were created using photomicroscopy, and the images were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

Both specimens were identified on March 18, 2017 as juveniles of the species by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>.

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Family Entomobryidae

Lepidocyrtus fimicolus ... Slender Springtail

On January 13, 2017, the Conservancy of SW Florida's science volunteer team was removing vines near the 14th Ave N tortoise fence in the southeast corner of the Smith Preserve and found nesting material made of palmetto fibers. A gallon bag of the material was collected and placed in a Berlese funnel to isolate any invertebrates living in the fibers.

This 1.2 mm (without furca) springtail was among the more than 150 invertebrates isolated from the fibers.

These photographs were created using photomicrography and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology. On March 1, 2017, the species was identified by Dr. Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>.

Lepidocyrtus fimicolus was originally described in the Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 24, No. 3-4, pp. 197-200, 1988. The article was titled, "Two New Species of Lepidocyrtus from Puerto Rico and Descriptive Notes for L. ramosi Mari Mutt (Collembola: Entomobryidae." The L. fimicolus was collected on Vieques Island at Front Beach, Naval Base under cow dung.

In Mari Mutt's description of the species,"Violet pigment uniformly distributed over head, body, collophore and legs until the trochanter. Intensity of pigment varies from light violet-gray to almost black." (The trochanter is the small second segment of the leg between the coxa and the femur.)

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Family Entomobryidae

Lepidocyrtus floridensis ... Slender Springtail

This 1 mm long springtail was living in leaf litter in the same oak hammock in the Smith Preserve as the first springtail shown above, and several shown below. The individual was removed from the litter using a Berlese Funnel on December 17, 2014.

On December 30, 2014, the species was identified from these photographs by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

The species was documented by Ken Wolgemuth, Contributing Editor, as a new species for the <BugGuide.net> website.

On December 29, 2014, the 1 mm long (without furcula) individual in images 3 and 4 was found living in pine needle litter beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree. It was isolated using a Berlese Funnel and the photographs were created using photomicroscopy.

On March 5, 2015, it was identified from the photographs by Frans Janssens. Dr. Janssens said the brown color is because of the liquid preservative. Webmaster's note: The liquid was alcohol stained by the tannins from pine needles.

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Family Entomobryidae

Lepidocyrtus pallidus ? ... Slender Springtail

On February 23, 2016, this 1 mm long springtail was living inside a curled citrus leaf on a tree that was growing in the northeast section of the Smith Preserve, north of Smith Preserve Way.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy. Both white and black backgrounds were used in these photographs to emphasize this springtail's features. The images were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>.

On March 13, 2016, the species was identified by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>. Janssens stated, "Lepidocyrtus pallidus is the best match given lack of pigment. But .. .Christiansen & Bellinger 1998 consider records of L. pallidus as a species complex of fimicolus and cinereus. Note fimicolus typically also has ringed antennae."

The image at right shows a close close up of the ringed antennae.

 

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Family Entomobryidae

Lepidocyrtus prope-fimicolus ... Slender Springtail

On December 17, 2014, the 1.3 mm long individual at right was living in leaf litter in an oak hammock in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. It was isolated from the leaf litter using a Berlese funnel; this photograph was produced using photomicroscopy.

This springtail photograph was analyzed on January 3, 2015 by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Dr. Janssens said it looks similar to Lepidocytus fimicolus, originally described from Puerto Rico, but it is not the same. He decided to call it Lepidocyrtus nr fimicolus.

On December 19, 2014, the 2 mm long springtail at right was living in leaf litter collected under a citrus tree in the same hammock as the one above.

On January 7, 2015, it was identified from this photograph as another Lepidocyrtus nr fimicolus by Frans Janssens. When asked, Dr. Janssens explained that " 'nr' is a short way to say it is something close to or near to Lepidocyrtus fimicolus but different." [Note: <BugGuide.net> uses the word "prope" to mean "near."]

When asked, "Do you think it could be another 'new' species." He responded, "Yes it could be new."

Susan Snyder, host of this web site responded with "That would be incredible!!!:) If that is true, I will have looked at only 3.8 L of leaf litter, collected within 14 m of each other and filtered through a Berlese Funnel... and possibly discovered three new species of springtails. I am truly amazed."

Dr. Janssens responded with, "If you collect fresh material, chances are high to find new undescribed species. Hopkin (1998) estimated the number of Collembola species worldwide at about 50,000. Currently only about 8,500 species have been described. I have calculated that based on the number of new described species each year, taxonomists will continue to describe new species for about 500 years... Your chance to find a new species currently is theoretically about 6:1 (50000:8500). Good luck in your Collembola hunt! ;-)"

On March 4, 2015, the 1.25 mm springtail in Image 3 was living in leaf litter beneath a Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) tree. It was isolated from the litter by using a Berlese Funnel.

This photograph was produced using photomicroscopy.

On March 12, 2015, it was identified from this photograph by Frans Janssens.

 

On December 19, 2014, the 1 mm long springtail below was living in leaf litter under a citrus tree, growing in the northeast hammock of the Smith Preserve.

The creature was isolated from the litter with a Berlese funnel, and these photographs were created using photomicroscopy. The photographs were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On January 4, 2017, the species was identified by Frans Janssens.

Dr. Janssens stated, "Descaled specimen." [Note from the webmaster: the scales might have been rubbed off by the springtail as it wiggled its way through the gauze to escape the light and heat of the light bulb in the Berlese funnel.]

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Family Entomobryidae

Lepidocyrtus sp. ... Slender Springtail

On January 23, 2017, this 1 mm (without furcula) springtail was living in leaf litter beneath a Psychotria nervosa (Shinyleaf Wild Coffee) bush and a Quercus laurifolia (Laurel Oak) tree in the eastern section of the Smith Preserve, just south of the marsh.

It was isolated from the litter with a Berlese funnel.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>.

On February 17, 2017, the genus was identified by Dr. Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>.

According to Wikipedia there are 260 species of this genus around the world.

 

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Family Entomobryidae

Orchesella ainsliei ... Slender Springtail

This 2.5 mm long springtail was living in leaf litter under a citrus tree in part of the abandoned citrus grove that has evolved into a cabbage palm / oak hammock in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. The specimen was extracted from the leaf litter using a Berlese Funnel. This photograph was produced using photomicroscopy.

On January 6, 2015, the species was identified from this photograph by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. He explained that it is a pale specimen.

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Family Entomobryidae

Orchesella alpha ... Slender Springtail

On April 2, 2015, many springtails were caught in 10 dry pit traps placed ~ 1 m apart. The traps were placed in sand, "littered" with oak leaves and lichens, adjacent to Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) trees living near the center of the Smith Preserve. The specimens were placed in alcohol, examined, and photographed using photomicroscopy. The individual below is 1.75 mm long. Photographs were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology. On July 28, 2015, the individual below was recognized as a pale form of Orchesella alpha by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>.

On December 13, 2016, two different looking 2 mm long springtails were captured in pitfall traps left overnight in sand and leaf litter adjacent to Chromolaena odorata (Jack-In-The-Bush), growing near 14th Ave N and a private residence.

Photographs of both individuals were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>. On December 30, 2016, the first specimen (shown in the three photographs below) was identified as the pale form of Orchesella alpha by Frans Janssens.

Also on that day, Dr. Janssens identified the second specimen (shown below) as the dark form of the species.

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Family Entomobryidae

Orchesella bulba ... Slender Springtail

On April 2, 2015, many springtails were caught in 10 dry pit traps placed ~ 1 m apart. The traps were placed in sand, "littered" with oak leaves and lichens, adjacent to Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) trees living near the center of the Smith Preserve. The specimens were placed in alcohol, examined, and photographed using photomicroscopy.

On July 28, 2015, the individuals below were identified as a pale form of Orchesella bulba by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Janssens is with the University Department of Entomology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, B-2020, Belgium, and he is an authority on collembola: Bellinger, P.F., Christiansen, K.A. & Janssens, F. 1996-2014. Checklist of the Collembola of the World.<http://www.collembola.org>. The species, Orchesella bulba, was first described by K. A. Christiansen & B. E. Tucker in 1977.

The first two images are of a specimen 1.5 mm in length.

 

The individual in the next two photographs was the latest instar submitted from this sample to <BugGuide.net>. This individual was 2 mm in length.

On November 17, 2015, this next 1.75 mm long springtail was captured in a pit trap placed beneath a Quercus laurifolia (Laurel Oak) north of Smith Preserve Way.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent to <BugGuide.net> to be identified. Species identification occurred on November 24, 2015 by Frans Janssens.

 

On November 24, 2015, the 1 mm long individual below was captured in a pitfall trap placed near Cladina confusa (Reindeer Moss Lichens) in the middle of the Preserve. As with the other examples, it was identified by Frans Janssens, this time on December 7, 2015.

On November 24, 2015, the 1.2 mm long individual below was captured in the same series of pitfall traps as the individual above. It was identified by Frans Janssens on December 7, 2015 as a juvenile.

 

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Family Entomobryidae

Orchesella sp. ... Slender Springtail

On December 17, 2014, this 1 mm long, curled, springtail was collected in leaf litter obtained from an oak hammock area in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve.

The springtail was extracted from the sample using a Berlese Funnel. Barely visible to the naked eye, this photograph was produced using a microscope.

On December 20, 2014, the springtail was identified from this photograph by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State.

There are 138 species in Family Entomobryidae and 14 species of genus Orchesella in the United States.

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Family Entomobryidae

Seira bipunctata. ... Slender Springtail

Several individuals of this species were collected on December 17, 2014 from leaf litter in the oak hammock area in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. They were extracted using a Berlese Funnel.

As shown in this first photograph, this springtail was less than 1 mm in length. On December 20, 2014, it was identified from the 2nd photograph by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State Department of Entomology.

The species name "bipunctata" refers to the two spots near the tip of the abdomen.

The 1.5 mm specimen in the 3rd image was identified by Frans Janssens on December 25, 2014. Dr. Janssens reported that this specimen had its scale cover almost completely removed.

When Dr. Janssens was asked what causes the scale cover to be removed, he replied, "The scale cover is easily damaged. It is part of an escape technique. If a scaled specimen is grabbed by a predator, the connection of the scales with the body is released, and the specimen can escape at the cost of a few scales. The scales are easily rubbed off, so you have to treat/transport the soil sample carefully. Also, the specimens stored in alcohol should be treated gently. :-)" This is good advice for future collecting.

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Family Entomobryidae

Seira brasiliana. ... Slender Springtail

On December 30, 2015, this 2 mm long springtail was captured in a sweep net used in low, dry vegetation that was growing along the eastern gopher tortoise fence north of Smith Preserve Way.

There photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On February 18, 2016, the springtail was identified by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net> and a world authority on collembolans. According to Dr. Janssens, both Seira bipunctata (shown immediately above) and Seira brasiliana have a dark line between the eyespots. The difference between S. bipunctata and S. brasiliana is an extra set of dark lateral spots in brasiliana. The spots are in the middle of the body.

On January 13, 2017, as the Conservancy science volunteer team was removing exotics along the southern tortoise fence adjacent to 14th Ave N, a mass of nesting material was retrieved from vines. The nesting material consisted of Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) fibers. The fibers were collected in a gallon bag and placed in a Berlese funnel to isolate invertebrates from the fibers. Many of the invertebrates were springtails.

Two specimens were photographed and submitted for identification to <BugGuide.net>. Both were identified by Dr. Janssens on February 16, 2017.

Unlike the specimen above, these two had more scales. Because of that difference, they looked much different from the one above.

The first three photographs are of a specimen 1.5 mm long.

 

The second specimen, shown below, was 1.3 mm long.

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Family Entomobryidae

Seira prope-bipunctata ... Slender Springtail

On December 19, 2014, this 1.5 mm long springtail was living in leaf litter under a citrus tree in a hammock in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. It was extracted from the leaf litter using a Berlese Funnel. This photograph was produced using photomicroscopy.

When the photograph was submitted to <BugGuide.net> for identification, a note was attached to the photograph explaining " it certainly resembles the individuals you have identified for me as Seira bipunctata, but it has four dark scale spot areas and it seems to have more antennal segments than those others you've identified for me. I suspect it is the same genus, but I'm not sure. The response by Frans Janssens on January 6, 2015, was "S. bipunctata is the closest match, but as you notice it is different." [Note: as is explained above for Lepidocyrtus nr fimicolus., "nr" means "something close to or near to."] According to Janssens, this is probably another new species.

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Family Entomobryidae

Seira knowltoni ... Slender Springtail

On December 29, 2014, this 1.25 mm springtail was living in pine needle litter under a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree in the Smith Preserve.

This hexapod was extracted from a collected sample of litter using a Berlese Funnel; this photograph was created using photomicroscopy.

On January 20, 2015, the collembolan was identified from this photograph by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

As shown in this photograph, this individual has blue/purple coloration on much of its body, while Its legs and furcula are transparent.

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Family Entomobryidae

Seira sp. ... Slender Springtail

On December 17, 2014, this 1 mm long springtail was living with other springtails described above in leaf litter in the oak hammock in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. The specimen was extracted from the sample with a Berlese Funnel.

On December 25, 2014, it was identified from this photograph by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Dr Janssens reported that the scale cover had been removed.

Members of Family Entomobryidae have distinct dorsal abdominal segmentation and the trunk is always elongate. The segmentation is very evident in this photograph.

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Family Entomobryidae

Seira sp. ... Slender Springtail

On December 17, 2014, this 2 mm long springtail was collected from the same location at the Smith Preserve as the ones described above in the Oak Hammock. On December 25, 2014, it was identified from this photograph by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Note the one very long antenna of this specimen. The other antenna has broken off. This specimen also has a partially damaged scale cover.

 

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Family Entomobryidae

Willowsia nigromaculata ... Slender Springtail

On March 22, 2016, this 1.25 mm long springtail was living in leaf litter beneath a Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) in the north-central portion of the Smith Preserve, north of Smith Preserve Way. The springtail was removed from the litter using a Berlese funnel, and these photographs were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>

On April 11, 2016, identification was made by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net> and a world authority on collembolans.

According to Janssens (and quoted from <BugGuide.net>), "Willowsia is easily confused with Entomobrya. Both belong to the family Entomobryidae. With a microscope, the difference is seen easily: in Willowsia the body is covered with thin small translucent scales. In Entomobrya such scales are absent."

The two images below are ventral views of this individual. The first was created using a black background and the second, using a white background. Both emphasize different structures. The first shows the hairs, collophore, and furcula. The second shows banding of the antenna, legs, lateral edges of the individual.

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Family Entomobryidae

Unknown Species ... Slender Springtail

On December 29, 2014, this tiny springtail was living in pine litter beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree in the Smith Preserve. It was extracted from the litter using a Berlese Funnel. This photograph was created using photomicroscopy.

Before additional photographs could be taken or the individual could be accurately measured, it was lost is the sample.

It's estimated length was .75 mm. It had a lot of setae around the base of its head, along the thorax, and along the abdomen, especially at the abdomen tip. The furcula was short and shaped like a fish tail. The last segment of an antenna was much longer than the others, broad in the middle, and pointed at the end. There seemed to be distinct paired sets of dark scale patches along abdominal segments 2 through 4.

On February 19, 2015, the springtail was identified as a member of Family Entomobryidae by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.Net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

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Family Isotomidae

Unknown Species ... Smooth Springtail

On March 3, 2016, this 1.5 mm long springtail was captured in a pitfall trap, placed in sand and left overnight near a Myrica cerifera (Wax Myrtle) bush and other vegetation bordering the northwest corner of the dry seasonal marsh.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On March 28, 2016, the family was identified by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, and a world expert on springtails.

The 3rd photograph shows the furcula (forked tail-like appendage), while the 4th is a better focused image of the abdominal segments.

Family Isotomidae is the second largest family in Order Collembola. Family members are elongate and lack scales on the upper surface of the body.

 

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Family Isotomidae

Unknown Species ... Smooth Springtail

The individual shown here was hidden inside a folded leaf of a Ficus aurea (Strangler Fig) with members of another collembolan species. Some of the collembolans were under silk webbing, and many springtail exoskeletons were inside the leaf.

This image was created using photomicrography and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology. The webmaster suspected it was a member of Family Isotomidae.

On December 27, 2014, the family was confirmed by Frans Janssens.

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Family Paronellidae

Salina banksi ... Elongate Bodied Springtail

This springtail was captured with a sweep net along the southwest edge of the dry seasonal marsh in the Smith Preserve on December 8, 2014. The marsh was filled with grasses and sedges.

On December 16, 2014, identification was determined from these photographs by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <Bugguide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. The eyepatch photograph (Image 2) made the identification possible. The size of this particular springtail was 1 mm.

On December 17, 2014, the 2 mm long individual at left (eye patch enlargement shown in image 3 above) was living in leaf litter in a hammock at the northeastern corner of the Smith Preserve.

It was extracted from the leaf litter using a Berlese Funnel. On December 25, the species was identified by Frans Janssens.

On December 19, 2014, the next two individuals below were living in leaf litter collected under a citrus tree in the same hammock as the other Salina banksi shown above.

On January 8, 2015, Frans Janssens identified the one at right, a 1.5 mm long individual, as a sub adult. He said the one below, a 1.0 mm individual, is a juvenile. He explained that Salina banksi may grow to 2 mm in body length, and that unlike some other collembola, this species does not have scales. The individual above that looks like it has colored scales has pigmentation cells in the epidermis just below the cuticula. Dr Janssens called this "intrinsic colouration." He explained, "The intrinsic colouration can be seen in microscopy and/or in alive specimens in scaleless specimens. In scaled specimens with intact scale cover the intrinsic colour cannot be seen in alive specimens due to iridisation of the scales."

The 1.5 mm long specimen below was collected in leaf debris under a citrus tree in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. Its identity was confirmed by Frans Janssens on January 24, 2015.

On March 4, 2015, the 2 mm long springtail at left and below was living in leaf litter beneath a Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) tree in the middle of the Smith Preserve. It's identification was made by Frans Janssens on March 25, 2017. Note the "intrinsic colouration."

 

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Family Paronellidae

Salina beta ... Elongate-Bodied Springtail

On March 4, 2015, this 1.75 mm long, bluish purple colored springtail was found living in leaf litter beneath a Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) tree in the middle of the Smith Preserve. It was isolated from the litter with a Berlese Funnel.

These photographs were produced using photomicroscopy.

On March 12, 2015, the individual was identified from the first two photographs by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Janssens said "Entomobrya comparata seems to be the best match. But not 100% ;-)

However, after considering some of its structures, Janssens requested additional photographs of the detailed portions of the furcula, especially of the claw-like terminal part of the dens (arms of the furcula), called the mucro.

 

 

On March 19, 2015, based on the photograph at left, Janssens determined that the species is Salina beta and not Entomobrya comparata. He stated "I do not see any crenulations on the dentes. But I do see a relative large mucro. In Entomobrya it is very small. So I conclude the best match is Salina beta." [Earlier, Janssens had explained to the webmaster that in Entomobrya, the dens is crenulated (kind of unilateral annulation). As such the dens is able to curve when applied to the substrate. It kind of rolls over the substrate.
In Salina, the dens is not crenulated. It cannot be curved."

Salina beta is yet another collembolan found in the Smith Preserve that is new for the <BugGuide.net> guide.

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Order Poduromorpha

 

Family Onychiuridae

Unknown Species ... Springtail

On December 29, 2014, this .8 mm long springtail was extracted from pine litter collected under a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree, using a Berlese Funnel. These photographs were produced by photomicroscopy. The first image had front lighting only. The second image had front and back lighting.

On February 19, 2015, the springtail was identified from these photographs by Frans Jenssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Members of Order Poduromorpha have short legs, short antennae, a plump body, and an oval shape. In dorsal view, as seen in these photographs, the abdominal segments are very distinct.

Dr. Janssens identified this springtail as belonging to Subfamily Onychiurinae of Family Onychiuridae of Order Poduromorpha. Dr. Janssens' website defines the Family Onychiuridae as having "Antennae shorter than head. Body pigment absent. Body shape elongate. Eyes absent. First thoracic tergite present. Legs short. Sixth abdominal segment monolobed. Sixth abdominal segment in dorsal aspect pointed. Trunk segmentation outline bumpy."

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Family Hypogastruridae

Unknown Species ... Springtail

On November 17, 2015, this .5 mm springtail was captured in a pit trap that had been placed in sand adjacent to a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) in the middle of the Smith Preserve.

Using photomicrography, this image was created. The photograph was submitted for species identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

On November 20, 2015, the individual was identified as a member of Family Hypogastruridae by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>. Janssens is with the University Department of Entomology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, B-2020, Belgium, and he is an authority on collembola: Bellinger, P.F., Christiansen, K.A. & Janssens, F. 1996-2014. Checklist of the Collembola of the World.<http://www.collembola.org>.

Members of Family Hypogastruridae are very common and widespread with ~660 species in ~ 40 genera.

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Unknown Family

Unknown Species ... Springtail

On December 29, 2014, this .5 mm long bluish-colored springtail was collected in pine needle litter under Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) in the middle of the Smith Preserve. The springtail was separated from the litter sample using a Berlese Funnel. These photographs were prepared using photomicroscopy.

On January 28, 2015, the springtail was identified from these photographs as a species in Order Poduromorpha by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

As stated for the species above, members of Order Poduromorpha have short legs, short antennae, a plump body, and an oval shape. In dorsal view, as seen in these photographs, the abdominal segments are very distinct.

In an e-mail dated January 30, 2015, Janssens wrote, "Poduromorpha are difficult to ID on habitus shots. Many species are characterised on chaetotaxy: the distribution of the dorsal setae. Frontal shots that reveal the shape of the mouth cone may help to find the family. Ventral shots help in verifying the presence/absence of the furca.

 

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Unknown Family

Unknown Species ... Springtail

On November 24, 2015, this .9 mm long springtail was captured in a pitfall trap placed beside Cladina confusa (Reindeer Moss) in the central scrub area of the Smith Preserve.

Dorsal (image 1), ventral (image 2), and lateral photographs (image 3) were created using photomicrosopy. The photographic images were sent for species identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On December 1, 2015, Ken Wolgemuth, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, determined that the arthropod was a Collembolan and he sent it to the <BugGuide.net> collembolan expert, Frans Janssens.

On December, Frans confirmed what Ken thought, that it is a collembolan of the Order Poduromorpha. Frans stated, "It could be Neanuridae given the pointed buccal cone. But also Odontellidae is a candidate given the presence of a furca (that is what it looks like anyway...). But the specimen is too distorted to do a decent ID. To relax the tissues of the specimen, put it in a solution of 10% lactic acid. This will not only relax the tissues but also make the specimen more transparent. Follow the process under the microscope. If you leave it in the solution too long the specimen will desintegrate...If you do not have access to lactic acid simply use sour milk."

This webmaster will try Dr. Janssens suggestions. If the process works, more photos will be taken, sent to Dr. Janssens for identification, and posted here.

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Unknown Family

Unknown Species ... Springtail

On March 3, 2016, this .5 mm springtail was caught in a pitfall trap that was placed in sand adjacent to an oak hammock in the east-central portion of the Smith Preserve.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On March 10, 2016, the individual was identified as a member of Order Poduromorpha.

 

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Order Symphypleona

 

Family Bourletiellidae

Bourletiella rustica ... Globular Springtail

On November 24, 2015, this 1 mm BL (without furcula) springtail was captured in a pitfall trap placed beside Cladina confusa (Reindeer Moss) in the central scrub area of the Smith Preserve.

Dorsal, ventral, and lateral photographs were created using photomicrosopy. The photographic images were sent for species identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On August 21, 2016, the specimen was identified by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, and an authority on collembolans.

On December 13, 2016, the 1 mm BL (without furcula) springtail shown in the four photographs below was captured in a pitfall trap left overnight in sand and leaf litter adjacent to Chromolaena odorata (Jack-In-The-Bush), growing in the Smith Preserve near 14th Ave N and a private residence.

These images were created using the same technique as those above and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>.

On December 29, 2016, Frans Janssens identified this individual as another Bourletiella rustica.

When queried by this webmaster as to why the two individuals look so different, Dr. Janssens responded "You did record two infraspecific forms of rustica: a pale one previously and a darker one recently."

 

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Family Dicyrtomidae

Calvatomina sp. ... Globular Springtail

This 1 mm long springtail was collected in leaf litter in an oak hammock in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve on December 17, 2014. Using a Berlese Funnel, it was extracted from the leaf litter. Photomicroscopy was used to take these photographs.

On December 30, 2014, after looking at the first two photographs, Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology made the following analysis. "Probably new to science. It is not in the 'bible' on Northern American Collembola of Christiansen & Bellinger of 1998. Given the very short 4th antennal segment: Dicyrtomidae. Given the reddisch background colour of the eyepatch : tentatively Calvatomina. More pictures pls. Such as facial aspect and ventral aspect."

Janssens is with the University Department of Entomology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, B-2020, Belgium and he is an authority on collembola: Bellinger, P.F., Christiansen, K.A. & Janssens, F. 1996-2014. Checklist of the Collembola of the World.<http://www.collembola.org>. Additional photographs, shown below, have been sent to Dr. Janssens. In all, four specimens have been collected from the hammock leaf litter. According to Wikipedia, there are 199 described species in genus Calvatomina. Perhaps this species will become the 200th.

Shown Below: On November 17, 2015, another individual (this time .8 mm long) was captured in a pitfall trap, placed under the eastern edge of a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine)'s canopy in the middle of the Smith Preserve. It was identified by Frans Janssens on November 22, 2015. He said, "Given this specimen is more pale, it could be a juvenile instar. The pattern seems to match quite well (with small diffs) as a juvenile instar."

 

Shown at right and immediately below: On December 9, 2015, this 1 mm long individual was living in pine needles beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree that was growing in the southern portion of the Smith Preserve, just South of the power lines.

It was suspected by this webmaster that it was another specimen of Calvatomina sp., but she was not sure because the markings are somewhat different.

These three photographs were submitted to <BugGuide.net> and on January 15, 2017, Frans Janssens confirmed that it too is Calvatomina sp. He stated, "Calvatomina sp. 5 quite right. Especially the facial markings are similar.

Below is another specimen collected with the one immediately above. It too was 1 mm long. Frans Janssens confirmed that this was also Calvatomina sp. He stated, "They do resemble your other specimens quite well, although much paler.

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Family Dicyrtomidae

Unknown Species ... Globular Springtail

On March 4, 2015, this 1 mm long springtail was isolated from leaf litter that was collected beneath a Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) in the center of the Smith Preserve.

The springtail was isolated from the litter with a Berlese funnel and photographs were created by photomicroscopy. The photos were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

On January 14, 2017, the family was identified by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>.

According to <BugGuide.net>, there are 25 species in 5 genera in this family in our area and 200 species in 8 genera worldwide.

Members of this family have "elbowed" antennae and the 4th antennal segment is short.

 

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Family Dicyrtomidae

Unknown Species ... Globular Springtail

On December 9, 2015, this tiny springtail was living in pine needle litter beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree that was growing in the southern portion of the Smith Preserve, just South of the power lines.

The specimen was separated from the needles using a Berlese funnel, and this photograph was created using photomicroscopy. The photo was sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On January 15, 2017, the family was identified by Frans Janssens. He stated, "Note short antenna 4. Juvenile specimen."

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Family Sminthurididae

Sminthurides occultus ... Globular Springtail

On March 4, 2015, this ~.2 mm long globular springtail was living in leaf litter beneath a Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) in the center of the Smith Preserve.

It was isolated from the litter with a Berlese funnel. These photographs were created using photomicrography and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

Note, this specimen has a purplish head and a brown, speckled abdomen. These images are not clear because the specimen was coated in a gelatinous webbing.

On January 12, 2017, the springtail was identified as possibly a juvenile female Sminthuridides occultus, by Frans Janssens, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>. Dr. Janssens stated, "Just an educated guess... given the fuzzy images..."

 

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Family Sminthurididae

Sphaeridia pumilis ... Globular Springtail

On March 4, 2015, this ~.1 mm long springtail was living in leaf litter beneath a Quercus gemnata (Sand Live Oak) tree in the center of the Smith Preserve.

The leaf litter was collected and placed into a Berlese funnel to separate the arthropods from the litter. Then, photographs were created using photomicroscopy.

The images were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On March 17, 2017, this specimen was identified as a male Sphaeridia pumilis by Frans Janssens, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>.

When the webmaster asked Dr. Janssens how he could tell from the poorly focused photographs that this is a male, he responded: "That is easy, really. I'll tell you the secret ;-) Members of the family Sminthurididae are sexually dimorphic. That is : the sexes are morphologically different. As in humans ;-) The difference is in the antennae. Females have 'normal' antennae. Males have modified 'grasping' antennae. The grasping mechanism is formed by setae and papillae on the 2nd and 3rd antennal segment. In Sminthurides most complex. In Sphaeridia the grasping mechanisme is very simple : just a few macrosetae. You can see in some images that the 2nd and 3rd antennal segments are kind of in an angle. The antennae seem kind of broken. This is typical for the male. I cannot see the setae in your images. Try to make a dark field illumination shot : dark background with sideways illumination. The setae will become visible then. With the grasping antennae the male grasps the bases of the antennae of a female. During this courtship ritual you may find couples head to head. Kind of kissing ;-) Females often walk around with an uplifted male clasped to her antennae. It is quite funny to see that. Now you are an expert too. Have fun!"

Additional online research stated in that many collembolan species, males deposit spermatophores on the substrate for females to find. Each spermatophore is usually placed at the top of a thin hair or petiole to keep it off the substrate. In some species, males deposit spermatophores wherever they like. In other species, males wait until finding a receptive female and then deposit spermatophores nearby. In some species, competing males eat another's spermatophores before setting their own in the same place. However in Sphaeridia pumilis, a male uses his third pair of legs to transfer a drop of sperm directly to a female's genital opening.

As can be seen in these photographs, this individual was purple with white mottling. The ocelli (eye patches) of this species are typically sharply black. The ocelli of this individual were dark purple.

 

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© 2015 Photographs and text by Susan Leach Snyder (Conservancy of Southwest Florida Volunteer), unless otherwise credited above.

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