Currently viewing the category: "Springtails!"

Thanks for posting the pictures and letters on Spring Tails. Similar to one of your readers we saw these little guys on Christmas day in Oregon and have been stumped for a month trying to determine what they are. Here are two more pictures we took that you can publish. The Douglas fir needle gives you a little bit of scale.
-Kevin Joyce

Hi Kevin,
We are glad to hear our site assisted you in the identification of your Snow Fleas, a type of Springtail that can be very plentiful on warm winter days.

Very Little Bugs
Hi,
I’m wondering if you could tell me what kind of bug this is. There are quite a few of these little bugs on the concrete in my basement. I have noticed quite a few spiders where I see these bugs. So I have started leaving the spiders. These bugs are very small. The specs around the bug in the picture are the specs in the concrete. Any help on what they are, why I have them, and/or how to control or get rid of them would be great! Oh yea, I live in Dayton Ohio. Thanks,
Brad

Hi Brad,
This is a Springtail. Springtails are minute flightless, primitive insects in the order Collembola. Various species adapt to many types of environments and they are often found in moist areas in large numbers.

Help! Thousands of Tiny Purple Bugs!
Hi-
We live in Oregon and have recently been invaded by literally thousands of these tiny what look like purple bugs. They seem to cluster together in piles, mostly hiding out of the rain, but sometimes in the puddles themselves. At this point only outside. Here are a few photos. Any ideas? Any help would be appreciated. It’s quite the mystery. Thanks,
Jordan Wand

Hi Jordan,
These are most certainly a type of Springtail known in the singular as a Snow Flea. These minute dark blue flea-like insects form large aggregations in the winter months and are sometimes found on the surface of snow on warm days. They are found in leaf litter and holes in the soil and are believed to feed on pollen.

Tiny red specks
This winter has been exceptionally warm in the Atlanta, Georgia USA area, so some bugs may be hatching out of season. This morning I looked outside to see my back cement patio covered in what I thought was a fine mist of water…millions of tiny specks. Then I noticed that the rug at the back door had a small red pile on it as if someone had spilled half a bottle of paprika or chili powder….I looked closer to notice that it was moving – these little specks were tiny insects – so tiny that I couldn’t see any legs. They couldn’t have been any bigger than a grain of salt but there were literally millions of them. They were a rusty-red color. Any idea what they were? I didn’t get a picture because I was afraid my dogs would track them into the house so I hosed them off of the back patio immediately. Oh yeah, one more thing I forgot about – the bugs jumped like fleas…maybe they WERE fleas but I’ve never seen any that tiny and have never seen a pile of them like that.
Blaine

Hi Blaine,
The jumping and aggregation leads us to believe you have Springtails.

Thanks for the quick response- today (just a few minutes ago, actually) I went out and looked for them and found just a couple of them crawling around – again, these are so tiny – about the size of a pinhead…maybe smaller. I was able to get some pictures. I had to put a magnifying glass in front of my camera because even my camera’s macro mode wasn’t good enough to get a picture. Do these look like springtails (images attached)?

Hi again Blaine,
This is definitely a photo of a Springtail.
.

piles of tiny insects in my driveway
What are these things???
There are several piles of millions of tiny moving insects in several places in my driveway. They are a dark grayish, brownish color. They are oblong and have visible antennae. At first, I thought they were piles of dirt.until I noticed they were moving. I can’t find anything on the Web. Help! Thanks,
Charlie

Hi Charlie,
Springtails in the order Collembola, are minute insects often found in large numbers. These are probably Snow Fleas, Achorutes nivicola, a type of Springtail that is found in the winter, often on top of the snow on warm sunny days.

Tidal bugs
Hello,
This summer I was on vacation on the island of Vinalhaven off the coast of Maine. While exploring the wonderful tidal pools there, my family and I discovered little clumps of blue-grey bugs who would utilize the surface tension of the water and hang out on top of it. They would move across the surface of the water by clutching each other and rearranging themselves. It was certainly not a very efficient or graceful way of moving, but it was mesmerizing to watch! They would occasionally reach the edge of the tidal pool and walk around on the rocks, but they would always end up back in the water again shortly. I could not tell whether they preferred being in the water or were just very clumsy. I’m guessing that they are either larvae or nymphs of something–but beyond that, I have no idea! Any thoughts on what these charming little creatures could be? Thank you,
Julia

Hi Julia,
We were struck by the resemblance of your unknown (to us) creatures to a type of Springtail known as the Snow Flea, a primitive insect. We googled “Springtail, marine” and were lead to a fascinating description of a surface dwelling species named Anurida maritima. Typing that into the search engine lead us to a positive identification of your creature on a UK website that states: “Anurida maritima is abundant and primarily limited to the upper intertidal zone. It can be found in large clusters of 20-100’s wandering over rocks in search of food or floating on the surface film of upper shore rock pools (only when the water is still). This species retreats into rocky crevices, or shelters under weeds during high tide: retreating one hour before the tide begins to rise.” We then found a reference on a Maine website that translates the scientific name as “wingless one who goes to sea.”