Pogonognathellus longicornis

Alternative names
Tomocerus longicornis

The largest UK springtail, reaching 6 mm in length (not including the antennae). It has a unique way of coiling its antennae, which out-stretched are longer than its body length. The family (Tomoceridae) is recognised by the long 3rd antennal segment and the genus (Pogonognathellus) by the 3rd antennal segment tapering apically. Normally covered in dark scales, but as with Tomocerus these are easily shed giving pale coloured-specimens. 

Similar Species

Pogonogthellus flavescens (a much less common species) is similar but has antennae shorter than the body + head. P. longicornis has antennae longer than the body + head. However, bear in mind the antennae break easily in this species. In P. longicornis the empodium of the foot carries a long filament on the end making the empodium 1.2 times longer than the claw. This filament is absent in P. flavescens

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Confirmation requires image of intact antennae or microscopic photo of empodium. 


It is commonly seen in gardens and in trees.

Life History

It is one of the springtails regularly found to climb tree trunks, sometimes forming an important member of the canopy community.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map