Root Aphids or…?
Location:  Madison, WI – USA
September 18, 2010 5:03 pm
Cheers Bugman!
First off, thank you for providing this service. I work at a hydroponics shop and recently I’ve been seeing more and more of these little white bugs in our reservoir. I’ve been told that they are Root Aphids or Root mites. I don’t believe they are root mites. I’ve looked online and in a few books but have never been able to confirm what they are. Any Ideas? The pic I attached is the closest img I can find. I tried to take a pic through a magnifying glass but had no success. They live in water and I’ve seen thousands of them in a res.
Signature:  Whatever


Dear Whatever,
You have submitted a photo of what many people consider to be among the most common terrestrial creatures, Springtails.  Springtails are quite primitive, and recent taxonomy has reclassified them by taking them out of the class Insecta and placed them in the class Collembola.  According to BugGuide:  “Springtails are probably the most abundant hexapods on Earth, with up to 250 million individuals per acre.
”  Springtails are benign creatures that will not harm plants and are actually beneficial because of the role they play in the creation of fertile humus in soil.  BugGuide also indicates:  “Springtails are ‘decomposers’ that thrive mostly on decaying organic matter, especially vegetable matter. They may also graze on spores of molds and mildews, especially indoors where there is a lack of other food sources.

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