Aquatic Insects of Michigan

by Ethan Bright, Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan

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Semiaquatic Collembola (Springtails) of Michigan

Collembola, though treated as part of the entomological fauna, are not insects, but derived from a non-insect ancestor, and is derived by an ancestor shared also by the Protura and Diplura (Laun et al. 2005; Gao et al. 2008). Recent work on morphology and molecular sequences argue for an arrangement of four orders within the class Collembola (Laun et al. 2008, Janssens & Christainsen 2011). The great majority of species are terrestrial, but a fair number have adapted to periaquatic or semiaquatic environments. The name "springtail" refers to the furca, or jumping organ on the ventral side of the abdomen, and functions to quickly propel the organism. This organ has been modified or lost on species inhabiting soil environments. All collembolans are wingless, derived from wingless ancestors, are ametabolous, and all antennal segments have functional musculature (only the first two segments in insects). All springtails share a ventral tube consisting of an eversible sac derived from a pair of appendages on the first abdominal segment. It functions in fluid balance but also may function for surface traction (see Hopkin 1997, 2002). Among other features not shared with true insects, but shared with Protura and Diplura, the mouthparts are internal and retracted within the head (endognathous, within a gnathal pouch; see picture right), whereas all insects have external mouthparts (ectognathous).

This list is largely taken from Snider (1967), which remains the best survey work for the state. This work is over 30 years old, thus one should not consider this an updated and definitive list. Interpretation of what is aquatic (a) and semiaquatic (sa) is based on my interpretation from Snider's species accounts, and is subject to revision (adding and deleting species both found in Michigan and associated with aquatic habitats). Species taken from sphagnum bogs are also noted. Within the four orders of springtails found in Michigan, four families appear to have species associated per se with the aquatic (surface film) habitat, and are truly semiaquatic. Other species are considered periaquatic, and are associated with environments bordering aquatic systems.

Genera are donoted in bold green; species denoted in bold blue have been recorded in Michigan; other species denoted in bold are likely to occur based on their known distribution. You can use the Find function in your web browser to locate families, genera, and species. Synonomous species (indented) are listed below the current valid species (denoted in bold) with its taxonomic status indicated.

    ENTOMOBRYIDAE Schäffer, 1896 (Order Entomobryomorpha, Superfamily Entomobryoidea)

      Orchesella Templeton 1836
        Orchesella ainsliei Folsom, 1924 - Snider 1967:199; may be periaquatic, wide range of habitats
          (syn.) Entomobrya indigena Stach, 1966
        Orchesella albosa Guthrie, 1903 - Snider 1967:199; may be periaquatic, wide range of habitats including bogs

      Pogonognathellus Paclt, 1944
        Tomocerus flavascens (Tullberg, 1871) - sa, bogs
          (orig.) Macrotoma flavascens Tullberg, 1871
          (syn.) Podura plumbea Linnæus, 1758:609
          (syn.) Podura plumbea Templeton, in Templeton & Westwood, 1836:93
          (syn.) Podura plumbea Ågren, 1903, nec Templeton, 1835
          (syn.) Podura violacea Geoffroy
          (syn.) Podura longicornis Müller 1776
          (syn.) Podura gigas Fabricius, 1783
          (syn.) Podura communis Fourcroy, 1785
          (syn.) Macrotoma ferruginosa Bourlet, 1839:390
          (syn.) Macrotoma nigra Bourlet, 1839:390
          (syn.) Tomocerus celer Nicolet, 1842:69
          (syn.) Macrotoma lepida Gervais, in Walckenaër 1844
          (syn.) Tomocerus lepida (sic) Folsom, 1902:97
          (syn.) Pogonognathus beckeri Börner, 1909
          (syn.) Architomocerura crassicauda Denis, 1931
          (syn.) Paratomocerus pierantonii Tarsia in Curia, 1938
          (syn.) Tomocerus flavescens ssp. arcticus Yosii, 1940, nec Schött
          (syn.) Tomocerus Flavencens (sic) Palacios-Vargas, in Sánchez-Ramos et al. 2005:365
          (syn.) Tomocerus flavencens (sic) Palacios-Vargas, in Sánchez-Ramos et al. 2005:366

      Salina MacGillivray, 1894
        Salina banksi MacGillivray, 1894 - periaquatic, many habitats including margins of streams

    HYPOGASTRURIDAE Börner, 1906 (Order Poduromorpha, Superfamily Hypogastruroidea)

      Anurida Laboulbène, 1865
        Anurida tullbergi Schött, 1891 - Snider 1967:192; periaquatic
          (syn.) Anurida Tullbergi (sic) Schött, 1893:91
          (syn.) Anurida ellipsoïdes (sic) Massoud, 1967:260
          (syn.) Anurida elipsoides (sic) Pomorski & Skarzynski, 1994:367
          (syn.) Anurida brusvigiensis (sic) Pomorski & Skarzynski, 1994:367

      Hypogastrura Bourlet, 1839
        Hypogastrura matura (Folsom, 1916) - Snider 1967:197, periaquatic
          (orig.) Achorutes matrua Folsom, 1916
        Hypogastrura nivicola (Fitch, 1841) - Snider 1967:198; periaquatic, "snow flea"; sphagnum bogs, pond margins
          (orig.) Podura nivicola Fitch, 1841
          (syn.) Achorutes diversiceps Lintner, 1896
          (syn.) Achorutes diversipes (sic) Handschin in Dahl, 1929:20
          (syn.) Achorutes diversipes (sic) Gisin, 1960:34
          (syn.) Achorutes socialis Uzel, 1890, sensu American authors
          (syn.) Achorutes spinifer Schäffer, 1896
          (syn.) Achorutes (Achorutes) nivicola (sic) Kloet & Hincks, 1945:3
        Hypogastrura perplexa Christainsen & Bellinger 1980 - Snider 1967:197 (as H. macqillivrayi), semiaquatic, on surface of water
          (syn.) Achorutes macgillivrayi Folsom, 1916:488 nec Dalla Torre, 1895
          (syn.) Hypogastrura macgillivrayi (Folsom, 1916)

      Pseudachorutes Tullberg, 1871
        Pseudachorutes corticicolus (Schäffer, 1896) - Snider 1967:193; periaquatic
          (orig.) Schoettella corticicolus Schäffer, 1896
          (syn.) Pseudachorutes corticicola (sic) Krausbauer, 1898, 1901
          (syn.) Pseudachorutes börneri (sic) Schött, 1902
          (syn.) Pseudachorutes corticola (sic) Kloet & Hincks, 1945:4
          (syn.) Pseudachorutes corticolus (sic) Palacios-Vargas, 1990:19; Szeptycki & Weiner in Razowski, 1990:20; Kopeszki & Meyer, 1996:224
          (syn.) Pseudachorutes corticolus (sic) Barra, 1993:71
          (syn.) Pseudachorutes corticicola (sic) Farkas, 1995:46; Arbea & Jordana in Ramos et al., 1997:323

    ISOTOMIDAE Schäffer, 1896 (Order Entomobryomorpha, Superfamily Isotomoidea)

      Desoria Agassiz & Nicolet, in Desor, 1841
        Desoria olivacea (Tullberg, 1871) - a, sa
          (orig.) Isotoma olivacea Tullberg, 1871
          (syn.) Isotoma grisea Lubbock, 1870
          (syn.) Isotoma voraginum Uzel, 1891
          (syn.) Isotoma stachi Denis, 1929
          (syn.) Spinisotoma regina Stach, 1930:290
          (syn.) Isotoma grisescens Denis, 1931
          (syn.) Isotoma tigrina Denis, 1937
          (syn.) Isotoma trispinata Tuxen, 1944 partim
          (syn.) Spinisotoma ephippiata Brian, 1945
        Desoria trispinata (MacGillivray, 1896) - sa
          (orig.) Isotoma trispinata MacGillivray, 1896

      Folsomia Willem, 1902
        Folsomia silvestrii Folsom, 1937 - Snider 1967:211-212; may be periaquatic, found in bogs and wide range of habitats

      Hydroisotoma Stach, 1947
        Hydroisotoma schafferi (Krausbauer, 1898) - Snider 1967:212; semiaquatic, bogs, ponds and lakes, in mosses or dense litter in cool temperatures
          (syn.) Isotoma schäfferi(sic) Krausbauer, 1898
          (syn.) Isotoma rivularis Latzel, 1921
          (syn.) Archisotoma dimorpha Denis, 1922
          (syn.) Proisotoma Schäfferi(sic) ssp. aculeata Stach, 1930:289
          (syn.) Hydroisotoma stachi Bagnall, 1949
          (syn.) Isotoma schäfferi(sic) Schäffer, 1900, Börner, 1901, Carl, 1901, Krausbauer, 1902, Tarsia, 1943
          (syn.) Proisotoma (Ballistura) schäfferi(sic) Heymons & Heymons, 1909
          (syn.) Proisotoma Schäfferi(sic) Denis, 1931:116
          (syn.) Proisotoma (Proisotoma) schäfferi(sic) Folsom, 1937
          (syn.) Hydroisotoma schäfferi(sic) Stach, 1947:250

      Isotoma Bourlet, 1839
        Isotoma viridis Bourlet, 1839 - Snider 1967:215; semiaquatic to periaquatic, wide ranges of moist habitats including bogs, lakeshores and moist soils; extremely common
          (syn.) Podura viatica Linnæus, 1746
          (syn.) Podura aquatilis Müller, 1776, sensu Gisin, 1960
          (syn.) Podura plumbea Müller, 1776
          (syn.) Podura fuliginosa Templeton, in Templeton & Westwood 1836:95
          (syn.) Isotoma arborea Bourlet, 1839:94
          (syn.) Desoria (Deuxième division) cylindrica Nicolet, in Desor 1841:385
          (syn.) Desoria (Deuxième division) annulata Nicolet, 1842:62
          (syn.) Desoria (Deuxième division) ebriosa Nicolet, 1842:61
          (syn.) Desoria (Deuxième division) fusca Nicolet, 1842:63
          (syn.) Desoria (Deuxième division) pallida Nicolet, 1842:6
          (syn.) Desoria (Première division) virescens Nicolet, 1842:59
          (syn.) Heterotoma chlorata Gervais, in Walckenaër, 1844
          (syn.) Isotoma Desmarestii(sic) Gervais, in Walckenaër, 1844
          (syn.) Isotoma Desmarestii(sic) Nicolet, 1847:374
          (syn.) Isotoma lineata Lubbock, 1862
          (syn.) Isotoma palustris Tullberg, 1871
          (syn.) Isotoma palustris var. unicolor Tullberg, 1871
          (syn.) Isotoma Belfragei(sic) Packard, 1873:33, MacGillivray, 1891
          (syn.) Isotoma purpurascens Packard, 1873:34
          (syn.) Isotoma tricolor Packard, 1873, partim
          (syn.) Isotoma cincta Tullberg, 1876
          (syn.) Isotoma viridis var. arctica Schött, 1893:61
          (syn.) Isotoma capitola MacGillivray, 1896
          (syn.) Isotoma delta Mac Gillivray, 1896
          (syn.) Isotoma glauca MacGillivray, 1896
          (syn.) Isotoma montana MacGillivray, 1896
          (syn.) Isotoma tridentata MacGillivray, 1896
          (syn.) Isotoma viridis var. violacea Lie-Pettersen, 1898
          (syn.) Isotoma viridis f. genuina Börner, 1901:50
          (syn.) Isotoma catena Guthrie, 1903:69
          (syn.) Isotoma viridis f. micans Ågren, 1903
          (syn.) Isotoma hibernica Carpenter, 1906
          (syn.) Isotoma aspera Bacon, 1914
          (syn.) Isotoma spinicauda Bonet, 1930
          (syn.) Isotoma (Isotoma) viridis var. pomona Folsom, 1937:115
          (syn.) Isotoma turkestanica Stach, 1947
          (syn.) Isotomurus bemakus Wray, 1952
          (syn.) Rhodanella plumosa Salmon, 1969
          (syn.) Tetracanthura mirabilis Martynova, 1971

      Isotomurus Börner, 1903
        Isotomurus palustris (Müller, 1776) - Snider 1967:213 (as I. palustris palustris, I. palustris balteatus, and I. palustris prasinus); semiaquatic, lentic shorelines, leaf litter, swamps and muck, roadside ditches
          (orig.) Podura palustris Müller, 1776
          (syn.) Podura aquatica cinerea de Geer, 1740:63
          (syn.) Podura aquatilis Müller, 1776
          (syn.) Podura aquatica grisea de Geer, 1778:28
          (syn.) Podura Grisea(sic) Herbst, 1787:350
          (syn.) Podura fuliginosa Templeton, in Templeton & Westwood, 1836:95
          (syn.) Podura Stagnorum(sic) Templeton, Templeton & Westwood, 1836:93
          (syn.) Podura armata Nicolet, 1842
          (syn.) Aetheocerus aquaticus Bourlet, 1842
          (syn.) Desoria (Deuxième division) fusca Nicolet, 1842:63
          (syn.) Desoria (Deuxième division) riparia Nicolet, 1842:62
          (syn.) Podura psi Herklots, 1857
          (syn.) Degeeria pi Herklots, 1858
          (syn.) Isotoma tricolor Packard, 1873
          (syn.) Isotoma balteata Reuter, 1876
          (syn.) Isotomurus palustris var. balteata(sic) Greenslade, 1997:1
          (syn.) Isotoma Stuxbergii(sic) Tullberg, 1876
          (syn.) Isotoma Tullbergi(sic) Moniez, 1889
          (syn.) Isotoma aequalis MacGillivray, 1896
          (syn.) Isotoma palustris f. pallida Schäffer, 1896
          (syn.) Isotomurus palustris ssp. pallida(sic) Salmon, 1964:368
          (syn.) Isotoma maculata Börner, 1901
          (syn.) Isotoma palustris f. cincta Krausbauer, 1902
          (syn.) Isotoma palustris ab. bimaculata Agren, 1903
          (syn.) Isotomurus palustris ssp. tricuspis Börner, 1906:173
          (syn.) Proisotomurus papillatus Womersley, 1934
          (syn.) Isotoma antennalis Schleuter, 1981
          (syn.) Isotomurus palustris f. catalana Cassagnau, 1987

    NEELIDAE Folsom, 1896 (Order Neelipleona)

      Neelus Folsom, 1896
        Neelus minutus Folsom, 1901 - Snider 1967:218; periaquatic in bogs
          (syn.) Neelides folsomi Caroli, 1912

    ONYCHIURIDAE Lubbock, 1867 (Order Poduromorpha, Superfamily Onychiuroidea)

      Heteraphorura Bagnall, 1948
        Heteraphorura subtenius (Folsom, 1917) Onychirus - Snider 1967:195 (as O. subtenius), periaquatic, in bog
          (orig.) Onychirus subtenius Folsom, 1917

    PODURIDAE Latreille, 1804 (Order Poduromorpha, Superfamily Poduroidea)

      Podura Linnaeus, 1758
        Podura aquatica Linnaeus, 1758 - Snider 1967:218; semiaquatic, neuston (waterfilm), found in most aquatic habitats
          (syn.) Podura viatica Linnæus, 1746:343
          (syn.) Podura nigrescens Hill, 1752
          (syn.) puce d'eau noire Ledermüller, 1768:19
          (syn.) Podura granulata MacGillivray, 1893
          (syn.) Podura nigripes Heymons, 1909
          (syn.) Podura aquatica f. mimula Maynard, 1951:25
          (syn.) Podura aquaticae (sic), Wiedmann 1821, 1823
          (syn.) Podura aquaticus(sic) Simon, 1958

    SMINTHURIDAE Lubbock, 1862 (Order Symphypleona, Superfamily Sminthuroidea)

      Bourletiella Banks, 1899, n.c. Opinion 291
        Bourletiella arvalis (Fitch, 1862) Smynthurus - Snider 1967:227; periaquatic, bogs and flood plains
          (orig.) Smynthurus arvalis Fitch, 1862
          (orig.) Smynthurus (sic) luteus Lubbock, 1867
          (orig.) Smynthurus (sic) roseus Packard, 1873:43
          (orig.) Bourletiella hortensis f. hispanica Denis, 1930
          (orig.) Deuterosminthurus neopandus Wray, 1950
          (orig.) Bourletiella (Bourletiella) savona Maynard, 1951:249

      Dicyrtoma Bourlet, 1841
        Dicyrtoma marmoratus (Packard, 1873) Papirius - Snider 1967:229 (as Ptenothrix marmorata); may be periaquatic, wide range of habitats including stony lakeshores
          (orig.) Papirius marmoratus Packard, 1873
          (comb.) Ptenothrix marmorata (Packard, 1873)
          (syn.) Papirius testudineatus Folsom, 1896
          (syn.) Papirius Testudineatus, (sic) Jackson 1907:173
          (syn.) Ptenothrix oswegatchiensis Maynard, 1951:283
          (comb.) Ptenothrix marmolatus (sic), Terrón-Sierra & Palacios-Vargas 1991, Palacios-Vargas & Gómez-Anaya, 1993
          (comb.) Dicyrtoma marmoratus (sic), Poole, Poole & Gentili 1997:55
          (comb.) Ptenothrix marmoratus (sic), Palacios-Vargas & Castaño-Meneses, 2002:399

      Pseudobourletiella Stach, 1956
        Bourletiella spinata (MacGillivray, 1893) - Snider 1967:226; periaquatic, commonly found along most plant-aquatic interfaces
          (orig.) Symnthurus spinata MacGillivray, 1893
          (comb.) Bourletiella spinata (MacGillivray, 1893)
          (syn.) Pseudobourletiella chandleri Pedigo, 1968
          (syn.) Bourletiella spinatus (sic) Poole, in Poole & Gentili, 1997:54

      Ptenothrix Börner, 1906
        Ptenothrix atra (Linnaeus, 1758) - Snider 1967:229 (as P. unicolor); periaquatic, wide range of habitats including stony lakeshores
          (orig.) Podura atra Linnaeus, 1758
          (syn.) Podura antennis longioribus Hill, 1752
          (syn.) Podura polypoda Linnæus, 1761
          (syn.) Podura Polypoda (sic) Walckenær, 1802:4
          (syn.) Podura globosa fusca de Geer, 1778:35
          (syn.) Papirius chloropus Tullberg, 1876
          (syn.) Papirius unicolor Harvey, 1893
          (syn.) Ptenothrix unicolor (Harvey, 1893)
          (syn.) Papirius annulatus Becker, 1902
          (syn.) Dicyrtoma setosa-ceratoleucaspis Börner, 1903
          (syn.) Ptenothrix setosa Denis, 1931
          (syn.) Dicyrtoma purpurata Maynard, EA, 1951:280

      Sminthurides Börner, 1900
        Sminthurides aquaticus (Bourlet, 1843) Smynthurus - Snider 1967:219; semiaquatic, including neuston (waterfilm) of swamps and in sphagnum moss
          (orig.) Smynthurus aquaticus Bourlet, 1843
          (syn.) Sminthurus apicalis Reuter, 1880
          (syn.) Sminthurus apiculis (sic) Schött, 1893:36
          (syn.) Sminthurus viridula Reuter, 1890
          (syn.) Sminthurus apicalis var. Levanderi (sic) Reuter, 1891
          (syn.) Sminthurides aquaticus f. levanderi Kseneman, 1932:22
          (syn.) Smynthurides (sic) amicus Folsom, 1896
        Sminthurides bificus (Mills, 1934) - Snider 1967:219; semiaquatic, including neuston (waterfilm) of stagnant water, ponds, streambanks and beaches
          (syn.) Sminthurus penicillifer Guthrie, 1903:55
        Sminthurides malmgreni (Tullberg, 1876) - Snider 1967:219-220; semiaquatic and periaquatic, including neuston (waterfilm) of ponds, streambanks, moss, sphagnum bogs
          (orig.) Smynthurus malmgreni Tullberg, 1876
          (syn.) Smynthurus principalis Tullberg, 1876
          (syn.) Sminthurus elegantulus Reuter, 1880
        Sminthurides occultus Mills, 1934 - Snider 1967:220; semiaquatic, in bogs, along streambanks and beaches
        Sminthurides penicillifer (Schäffer, 1896) - Snider 1967:220; may be periaquatic, in bogs
          (syn.) Sminthurides penicillifer var. incompta Börner, 1901:94
          (syn.) Sminthurides penicillifer f. typica Börner, 1901:94
          (syn.) Sminthurides Pauliani (sic) Denis, 1936
          (syn.) Sminthurides malmgreni Janssens, 1992:99
          (syn.) Sminthurides penicilifer (sic) Kseneman, 1932:22

      Sminthurinus Börner, 1901
        Sminthurines aureus (Lubbock, 1862) - Snider 1967:222; may be periaquatic, habitats including bogs
          (syn.) Sminthurus ochraceus Koch, 1840
          (syn.) Smynthurus (sic) signifer Fitch, 1862
          (syn.) Sminthurus quadrilineatus Tullberg, 1871
          (syn.) Sminthurus quadrilineatus var. ochropus Reuter, 1890
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus Ardron, 2009:19
          (syn.) Sminthurus aureus var. fusca Krausbauer, 1898
          (syn.) Sminthurus albus Schäffer, 1900
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus var. atrata Börner, C, 1901:104
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus var. maculata Krausbauer, 1902
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus var. punctata Börner, C, 1901:103
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus var. pustulata Krausbauer, 1902
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus var. anglicana Salmon, 1955
          (syn.) Sminthurinus niger Tuxen, 1944
          (syn.) Sminthurinus igniceps da Gama, 1959
        Sminthurines bimaculatus Axelson, 1902 - Snider 1967:222-223; may be periaquatic, habitats including bogs
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus f. fenestratus Börner, 1909
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus f. biflavopunctata Collinge & Shoebatham, 1909
          (syn.) Sminthurinus aureus var. circumfasciata Stach, 1922

      Sminthurus Latreille, in Sonnini 1802
        Sminthurus fitchi Folsom, 1896 - Snider 1967:224; periaquatic, swamps
          (syn.) Sminthurus trilineatus Banks, 1903
          (syn.) Sminthurus obscurus Mills, 1934:104


    Bellinger, P.F., Christiansen, K.A., Janssens, F. 1996-2013. Checklist of the Collembola of the World,, accessed January 25, 2013.
    Gao Y, Bu Y, Luan Y-x. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships of basal hexapods reconstructed from nearly complete 18S and 28S rRNA gene sequences. Zoological Science 25:1139-1145.
    Hopkin SP. 1997. Biology of the springtails (Insecta: Collembola). Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, UK. 330 pp.
    Hopkin SP. 2002. Collembola, pp. 207-210 in Lal R. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Marcel Dekker, New York, NY, USA.
    Janssens F, Christainsen KA. 2011. Class Collembola Lubbock, 1870, pp. 192-194 in Zhang Z-q. (Ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148:1-237.
    Luan Y-x, Mallatt JM, Xie R-d, Yan Y-m, Yin W-y. 2005. The phylogenetic positions of three basal-hexapod groups (Protura, Diplura, and Collembola) based on ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Molecular Biology and Evolution 22(7):1579-1592.
    Snider RJ. 1967. An annotated list of the Collembola (Springtails) of Michigan. The Michigan Entomologist 1(6):179-234.

Page updates

    January 25, 2013:
    • Updated species taxonomic status per Bellinger et al. 2013

Page created: November 01, 2002; Last update: November 04, 2013 (EB)