All images on this website have been taken in Leicestershire and Rutland by NatureSpot members. We welcome new contributions - just register and use the Submit Records form to post your photos. Click on any image below to visit the species page. The RED / AMBER / GREEN dots indicate how easy it is to identify the species, particularly from a photo. See our Photo ID page for more information.
Springtails & Bristletails
Springtails and bristletails are no longer considered to be insects and are classified in the arthropod sub-phylum hexapoda. For help photographing springtails, see our article on Ultra-Macro Photography.
Springtails (Collembola) are the largest group of hexapods. They are small (up to 6 mm) but very abundant, with up to 100,000 reputed to live in each cubic metre of top soil. Most have a tail-like appendage held under their abdomen called a furcula which is held under tension. If they feel threatened it can be released to catapult them into the air to escape. They live in soil and in leaf litter where they eat mainly dead vegetation and microbes, though some eat living plants and can be pests.