Massive swarm
April 13, 2010
We were hiking the highest ridge in Friedrich Wilderness Park, just northwest of San Antonio, when we encountered a large swarm of small black insects covering the limestone rocks. This is the video I took of their swarming behavior:
This was in early January, but the weather was unseasonably warm, probably near 70 degrees F. It was late afternoon, and the trails were very muddy from recent rains. The altitude there is about 1200′.
The insects themselves were very small, maybe 1/8″ long. I couldn’t get any idea of their appearance until I zoomed in on the digital pictures I took–it should be Image 2 here.
I sent this same information to a local entomologist, but never got a reply 🙁
Northwest of San Antonio, TX


Hi John,
You had an encounter with Springtails, most likely in the genus Hypogastrura, which includes Snow Fleas and which can be viewed on BugGuide.  Snow Fleas can be found on sunny days during the winter, often congregating on the surface of the snow.  Entomologists are often quite busy with their jobs, but amateurs like us do this as a labor of love.


2 Responses to Springtails

  1. Betta says:

    H i i do have itchiness and live in a hot country i have a lot of dump in my house and saw tiny jumping insects on my wall but i am so itchy and feel i have them on me contantly, sometimes in my head which i scratch constantly. Here in Srilanka is rainy season too and we also have sever leaks in the apartment. they come out in the night and come in my bed then on me making me sleepless. I am not sure if they are fleas or springtails, i know fleas got a harder body, but the one i have i easily smash them and some reddish/brownish liquid comes out. can someone help to identify the bug?

  2. Audrey Kelley says:

    I still don’t know what has been biting me for a year and a half. It was a coincidence that, the day I found a swarm of them on my bathroom window-sill, our pest-control man was here. He identified them as Springtails; however, others who have inspected them do not agree. I sent specimens to the Department of Agriculture; they declared they were not mites, but that was all. The pests have moved from my body into my mouth, and refuse to leave. I’m 91; and hope I find a way to rid myself of this nightmare.

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