Minnesota Springtails

Class Collembola

Collembola is the class of hexapods called springtails. Traditionally, springtails were placed in the order Collembola under the class Insecta. Later, the order was placed in the class Entognatha along with orders Diplura (two-pronged bristletails) and Protura (coneheads). It was later determined that the three orders were derived from more than one evolutionary ancestor (polyphyletic), and the class Entognatha was therefore invalid. Most authors now place springtails in the class Collembola.

Springtails are characterized by the following:

  • oval or elongated body;
  • minute, no more than ¼ (6 mm) long;
  • abdomen with 6 or fewer segments;
  • a ventral tube (collophore) projecting from the first abdominal segment;
  • no wings;
  • short antennae with 4 to 6 segments;
  • hidden, internal mouthparts; and
  • most, but not all, have a forked, tail-like appendage on the abdomen that allows them to jump.


Springtails are cosmopolitan, occurring on every continent including Antarctica. There are more than 8,200 described species in more than 670 genera in 31 families in 4 orders of springtails worldwide. There are at least 17 species in 13 genera in Minnesota.


belted springtail

Photo by Alfredo Colon

Recent Additions

Belted springtail


Belted springtail (Orchesella cincta) is a large slender springtail. It occurs in western Europe, southern Canada, and northern United States. It is one of the most common and one of the largest springtails in the United Kingdom. Based on the number of records, it is uncommon in Minnesota. However, it is probably underreported due to its small size and habitat preferences. It is found in soil, leaf litter, rotting wood, and moss, under stones, and on tree trunks.

Adults are slender, about long, and reddish-brown, brown, or blackish-brown. They are covered with long hairs. The abdomen has a white band followed by a very dark band, making the abdomen appear “belted”. This is the source of the common name of the species.

  belted springtail  
    Photo by Alfredo Colon  
Other Recent Additions







This list includes only springtails that have been recorded in Minnesota, but not all of the springtails found in Minnesota.

  Profile Photo Video          

belted springtail


  Profile Photo    

belted springtail (Orchesella cincta)


cosmopolitan springtail (Entomobrya nivalis)


cotton springtail (Entomobrya unostrigata)


damp grain springtail (Willowsia buski)


elongate-bodied springtail (Cyphoderus similis)


garden springtail (Bourletiella hortensis)


globular springtail (Bourletiella arvalis)


globular springtail (Deuterosminthurus bicinctus)


globular springtail (Pseudosinella rolfsi)


globular springtail (Sminthurinus henshawi)


globular springtail (Sminthurinus elegans)


slender springtail (Lepidocyrtus paradoxus)


slender springtail (Willowsia nigromaculata)


slender springtail (Homidia socia)


smooth springtail (Isotoma viridis)


snow flea (Hypogastrura nivicola)


water springtail (Podura aquatica)


No Species Page Yet?

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Created: 12/8/2020

Last Updated:

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