The coastal Sminthurid Springtail looks like a tiny sand flea and has no problem treading on slippery rocks.
The incredibly small Sminthurid Springtail has a round abdomen and, like all Springtails, it has the ability to jump quickly. This may mean it gets mistaken for a flea, but it is not related. Sminthurid Springtails do not feed on animals like fleas do. Instead, they eat detritus, fungi, and other decaying plant matter. Their feces is part of what makes soil, so they are important in nutrient cycling within an ecosystem.
A collophore helps this creature tread across slippery, wet surfaces that would cause other insects to slip off and drown. The collophore is a small tube under the abdomen that sticks to a rock or other stable substrate, preventing the Springtail from getting washed away. Sminthurid Springtails do not bother people and are often overlooked.
Scientific Name: Ptenothrix atra
Other Name(s): Springtail
Size (Adult; Length): 2mm to 3mm (0.08in to 0.12in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.