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Any of numerous small wingless hexapods of the class Collembola, having the ability to jump by means of a forked appendage on the abdomen that acts as a spring. Also called collembolan.


(Animals) any primitive wingless insect of the order Collembola, having a forked springing organ with which it projects itself forward



any of numerous minute, wingless primitive insects of the order Collembola, most possessing a special abdominal appendage for jumping.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.springtail - any of numerous minute wingless primitive insects possessing a special abdominal appendage that allows the characteristic nearly perpetual springing patternspringtail - any of numerous minute wingless primitive insects possessing a special abdominal appendage that allows the characteristic nearly perpetual springing pattern; found in soil rich in organic debris or on the surface of snow or water
insect - small air-breathing arthropod
Collembola, order Collembola - minute wingless arthropods: springtails
References in periodicals archive ?
Try to wrap your head around these numbers: In one cubic meter of temperate climate topsoil you're likely to find more than 10 trillion bacteria; 100 billion fungi; 100 million algae; 1 million nematodes; 10,000 springtails, mites, and millipedes; along with fly and beetle larvae; earthworms; spiders; and lice.
The ancient sperm fossils predate the previous record holders--amber-preserved sperm from tiny insects called springtails and petrified sperm from mussel shrimps--by at least 10 million years.
Amongst the ice and rocks there are a massive number of species: in the sea, things like sea spiders, corals, worms and so on, and on land, springtails, mites, mosses and fungi.
Soil and microbial community as well as springtails and earthworms characteristics were studied in June 2010, epigeic invertebrates in June and July 2010.
Springtails (Collembola) belong to the smallest group of hexapodous arthropods (most are only a few millimeters in length) and are the most diverse and widespread among (Hopkin 1997).
In contrast, ablation reduced the capture of springtails to just 29 % of that of the other two treatments.
Mites, moths, spiders and tiny insects called springtails make their homes in festive firs, with many using them as a place to sleep through the winter.
A majority of the collection consisted of springtails (Order: Collembola), and mites (Superoder: Acariformes).
Now, lab tests with two moss species have shown that in dewy conditions, springtails increased moss fertilization.
When temperatures drop below freezing, Arctic springtails (Megapborura arctica) lose massive amounts of water and shrivel into little husks.
Mosses frequented by springtails reproduced more abundantly than did those inhabited by mites, which lumber around more slowly.
The GM portions of the beet fields also had fewer butterflies, but more springtails, which are small arthropods that feed on dead plants.