Thursday, December 30, 2021

Two New Giant Springtails!!!

I'm actually getting into springtails in a way I haven't in a long time now, and hope to be able to obtain several large and/or pretty species of predatory mite resistant springtail species this year! 😁 There to help feed my rekindled interest in Collembola is enthusiast Ryne Pavy (AKA @ryneboi on IG), who I've recently done a trade with in exchange for two large species of springtails!

Let's start off with my new "Giant Belted Springtails", Orchesella cincta. These beauties are supposedly quite easy to rear, though they need lots of airflow to do well, and get caught in condensation easily. There is some debate as to their preferred humidity requirements, but I'm erring on the side of higher humidity, due to their decent airflow and my abysmal air humidity.

I've got my dozen or so in a decently ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of potting/top soil (which they were shipped with) as their substrate, and sphagnum moss and bark hides on top. I'm keeping them humid and cool (68-73F°), and feeding them dog food, chick feed, etc., as well as mold technically (since I'm not removing uneaten leftovers).

Here are some pictures of one of the larger specimens:

The largest individuals in my culture seem to be the same size, if not a bit smaller than my Tomocerus minor, so a large springtail for sure, and they may still have some growing to do. Hopefully they'll breed well for me!

Next up we have the larger of the two, the "Giant Silver Bullet Springtail", Pogonognathellus dubius. These may not be as colorful as the O.cincta, but they are in fact bigger than my Tomocerus minor, not by that much, but definitely a bit longer and bulkier. They may not be full grown yet though, so we'll see if the size disparity gets even more noticable over time.

I've got my 15 or so in a nearly identical setup to my O.cincta, but I'm keeping them more humid since this species enjoys higher humidity (they are still well ventilated though). 

Here are some pics of one of my larger individuals:

One cute this about this species is it's ability to curl it's long antennae up, something I've not noticed in any of the other springtails I keep (perhaps because none of their antennae are as long as the ones on these P.dubius). Fingers crossed these breed for me, supposedly they are quite the prolific and hardy species!

Anyways, that's it for this post, big thanks to Ryne for this trade, looking forward to seeing what other springtails he introduces to culture! 😄 Thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all soon! 😉


  1. I especially like the giant belted. Both look very similar to strains/species we have on this side of the pond. I haven't given much thought to culturing springtails myself, but I admit I'm swayed by what I read on Roachcrossing: "like tiny cockroaches"!

    1. Yeah, the belteds are my favorite of the two as well, so colorful! You could possibly have these species in your area, a lot of springtails are nearly cosmopolitan as a result of humans bringing them along in potted plants and such. Though there's just as much of a chance yours are something different too!

      Yeah I find springtails quite interesting, and they are kinda like tiny roaches in many ways. I'm planning on branching out even more into neat springtail species this year, hopefully the majority will do well for me! 😄