Springtail identification

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
So, I didn't know that springtails could live in this environment. I found these in by backyard absolutely swarming a dead mosquito. I wasn't sure that they were springtails until I put them under a microscope, but there's no doubt. I'm more than a little bit excited for two reasons. Firstly, my backyard is nearly bone dry 24/7, meaning I can add these to my dry enclosures. Secondly, these springtails clearly eat decaying animals, something my tropical springtails don't really do. I want to cultivate these and start using/selling them, but I need an ID.

My main concern is this. Are there any species of springtail that are actually predatory? Or at least enough that could pose a problem with my tarantulas?

They are 2mm in length as adults, extremely active, and prone to jumping much more than the tropicals. They were collected in the Sierra Nevada desert, and are obviously arid.

20170426_190100.jpg
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
Well, I've managed to find some info. I doubt that I'll get much more of an identification than this, but what I have appears to be of the family Entomobryidae - "slender springtails" with an elongated fourth body segment. They're also characterized by few antennae segments and relatively large furcula (the "spring" part on their abdomen). As for the genus... I'll probably never know, but I suppose it doesn't matter. I'm still hoping that one of the geniuses on this forum can identify it, though!

Shockingly, there doesn't appear to be much research or desire in the way of identifying nearly microscopic pests :rolleyes:
 

Aquarimax

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
1,062
Though I can't assist with an ID, I am excited at the prospect of a new species of springtail in the hobby, especially one that seems to have some tolerance of aridity!
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
Very Interesting, hope you can culture them for use in the hobby.
I found this recent revision paper abstract, the full paper is a pay per view item maybe it will help with positive ID.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zsc.12100/abstract
I actually have access to that article, but it unfortunately isn't of much help without a much more powerful microscope. The picture I posted above is as good as I can get, but the paper refers to structures like mouthparts, scales, and segments in the base of the furcula to identify species. I'd be able to use a standard light microscope, but even a halfway decent one is a couple hundred dollars at best.

That paper is, however, how I confirmed the family in the first place. I found reference to the family in a book about Nevada history written in the early 1900's, and then I found that paper in my university's library.
 

sdsnybny

Arachnogeek
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
1,337
I actually have access to that article, but it unfortunately isn't of much help without a much more powerful microscope. The picture I posted above is as good as I can get, but the paper refers to structures like mouthparts, scales, and segments in the base of the furcula to identify species. I'd be able to use a standard light microscope, but even a halfway decent one is a couple hundred dollars at best.

That paper is, however, how I confirmed the family in the first place. I found reference to the family in a book about Nevada history written in the early 1900's, and then I found that paper in my university's library.
Maybe you can use/borrow a microscope from the University lab?
Pawn shop?
Good luck
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
Pawn shop?
Is that a Vegas joke? :shifty:

But nah, my university is a bit of a jerk when it comes to supplies. You have to have an actual reason beyond "I just wanna" to use anything that's not immediately in your department. And since my department deals with calculators rather than microscopes, no microscope for me. I do have access to a fraction of a supercomputer's processing power, though :D
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
2,337
Springtails are everywhere, I find them in even the most arid habitats! Not sure exactly what species you have, (part of me wants to say Entomobrya unostrigata because of the habitat), I will say this though: Many springtail species don't do well in captivity, and won't reproduce fast enough to be cleanup crews. I'm not saying this species absolutely won't do well as a cleanup crew, just saying there's a 50-50 chance, (if it is indeed E.unostrigata though, then no, they definitely don't do well as cleanup crews, and in fact are difficult to culture, speaking from both personal experience and from info on Roachcrossing).
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
Springtails are everywhere, I find them in even the most arid habitats! Not sure exactly what species you have, (part of me wants to say Entomobrya unostrigata because of the habitat), I will say this though: Many springtail species don't do well in captivity, and won't reproduce fast enough to be cleanup crews. I'm not saying this species absolutely won't do well as a cleanup crew, just saying there's a 50-50 chance, (if it is indeed E.unostrigata though, then no, they definitely don't do well as cleanup crews, and in fact are difficult to culture, speaking from both personal experience and from info on Roachcrossing).
Aw, well that's really too bad to hear. I don't believe them to be E. unostrigata, though - that link you provided gave some physical characteristics that these simply don't have. They're solid charcoal gray; no stripes, patterns, or the like. At least my microscope is good enough to pick that up.

Well, we'll see how it goes. I gathered a good number of them, possibly around 100-300, and put them into a long container with a moisture gradient and plenty of ventilation. I also put in a dead roach last night, and of this morning they're swarming it. Curious, though, is that they don't seem to care about the gradient so far. It's a pretty even distribution throughout the container.
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
2,337
Aw, well that's really too bad to hear. I don't believe them to be E. unostrigata, though - that link you provided gave some physical characteristics that these simply don't have. They're solid charcoal gray; no stripes, patterns, or the like. At least my microscope is good enough to pick that up.

Well, we'll see how it goes. I gathered a good number of them, possibly around 100-300, and put them into a long container with a moisture gradient and plenty of ventilation. I also put in a dead roach last night, and of this morning they're swarming it. Curious, though, is that they don't seem to care about the gradient so far. It's a pretty even distribution throughout the container.
Well that's good to hear, they could be a different, easier to culture species then! :)

Hope they do well for you, it seems they feed well in captivity, and aren't too picky about humidity levels!
 
Top