Cedar Creek
Ecosystem Science Reserve

Insects of Cedar Creek



    The Springtails (675 NA spp) are a primitive group of insects that are primarily soil inhabiting detritivores.  Although having six legs, they lack malphigian tubules and tracheae which prompt some authorities to place them in a Class apart from the Insecta.  Their common name of Springtails derives from a peculiar hinged mechanism (furcula) on the underside of the abdomen which when released allows them to 'spring' some distance.  Collembola are most readily collected by Berlese funnel extraction from litter/humus, D-vaccing, or searching under boards placed in fields or woods.
     Michigan which is rather well collected reports 132 species, and it is reasonable to assume that a similar number of species occurs in Minnesota.  Limited attention has been given to the Springtails of CCESR.  Perhaps 10 species have been collected, but they have been assigned only MORPHO names.  It is likely that more than 50 species occur here, but their collection will require the attention of a specialist.  Most have been taken by D-vaccing in experimental grassland plots, and they have occasionally been colleced in old field sweeps.  The Snowflea, Hypogastrura nivicola, is abundant during sprig thaws, when literally millions of individuals collect in snow depressions and puddles floating atop the water like so much graphite.
    Seven families occur in North America, and all are likely to by found in Minnesota.  Families in Bold type have been collected at Cedar Creek.  The Poduridae, Hypogastruridae, and Onychiuridae have setae on the dorsum of the first thoracic segment.  The Entomobryidae and Isotomidae lack such setae and are elongate bodied.  The Neelidae and Sminthuridae are globular in form.  Some Morpho species are imaged here.

Snider, Richard J. (1967).  An annotated list of the Collembola (Springtails) of Michigan.  Michigan Entomologist 1: 179-234
         (includes key to species, slide mounted specimens required)
1. Family PODURIDAE Water Springtails (Not described at CCESR)
2. Family HYPOGASTRURIDAE Elongate-bodied Springtails
3. Family ONYCHIURIDAE Blind Springtails (Not described at CCESR)
4. Family ISOTOMIDAE Smooth Springtails
5. Family ENTOMOBRYIDAE Slender Springtails
6. Family NEELIDAE Short-horned Springtails (Not described at CCESR)
7. Family SMINTHURIDAE Globular Springtails

webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu Last updated May, 2000