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  • Water Springtail - (Podura aquatica)

    Water Springtail - (Podura aquatica)

    The dark-bodied Water Springtail can tread on the surface of water thanks to its small size and a collophore.

    Staff Writer (2/10/2014): This microscopic hexapod is tiny enough to require a microscope in order to see it in detail. A swarm of hundreds of them is visible to the naked eye thanks to their large numbers. Clusters of Water Springtails will form on the water surface of creeks, ponds, lakes and other slow-moving water sources. It may look like a dark mat of algae at first glance. They are also capable of spending time on land.

    Springtails are scavengers, eating the decaying plant and animal matter that insects pass over. They are important to an ecosystem since they help return that decaying matter to energy that can be passed through the food web once they are eaten by their own predators.

    Water Springtails have a furcula. This is a spine-like tail that snaps down, propelling them up into the air. It offers a fast means of transport and evasion from threats.

    Males drop vertical sperm packets on the ground and push females up against them so they pick them up and use them to fertilize eggs.

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    Details of the:
    Water Springtail

    Category: Springtail
    Common name: Water Springtail
    Scientific Name: Podura aquatica
    Other Names: Springtail

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Subphylum Hexapoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Collembola
          Family: Poduridae
           Genus: Podura
            Species: aquatica

    Size (Adult, Length): 1mm to 2mm (0.04in to 0.08in)

    Identifying Colors: blue, red, brown

    Additional Descriptors: jumping

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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