• WordNet 3.6
    • n springtail any of numerous minute wingless primitive insects possessing a special abdominal appendage that allows the characteristic nearly perpetual springing pattern; found in soil rich in organic debris or on the surface of snow or water
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Springtail (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of small apterous insects belonging to the order Thysanura. They have two elastic caudal stylets which can be bent under the abdomen and then suddenly extended like a spring, thus enabling them to leap to a considerable distance. See Collembola, and Podura.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n springtail A collembolous thysanurous insect which leaps or skips about by means of abdominal hairs acting like a spring, as any poduran. In these creatures the anal bristles are united and bent under the body, forming a spring by the aid of which they leap to a great height. They are found in gardens, in hotbeds, on manure-heaps in winter, and on snow, and may also be seen on the surface of water in quiet pools. See Collembola, 2, Podura, and Thysanura.
    • n springtail A thysanurous insect of the suborder Cinura, oftener called bristletail. See Cinura, Lepisma, and cut under silver fish.
    • n springtail One of certain minute neuropterous insects of the panorpid genus Boreus, found in moss and on the surface of snow; a snow-fly. This insect springs, but not by means of anal appendages.
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In literature:

Most springtails are without air-tubes, and breathe through the general cuticle of the body.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 3" by Various
The most common arthropods in the nests were mites (parasitic, predaceous, and free-living) and springtails.
"Natural History of the Prairie Vole (Mammalian Genus Microtus)" by E. W. Jameson

In news:

View full size Rocky Cookus, Portland State University A springtail ( Folsomia candida ) in patch of moss ( Ceratodon purpureus ).
A new study from Portland State University shows that mosses produce sex-specific scent compounds that attract the springtail to carry sperm cells from male moss to female moss.
They usually have a furca, or a tail used to spring away from danger, hence the name "springtails".
Springtails, with insects , spiders, crabs and other buglike creatures, make up a joint-legged group known as the arthropods.
HOUSE WRENS are feisty critters, very territorial and dedicated to protecting their nest and the associated habitats where they eat insects and spiders, including beetles, caterpillars, earwigs, flies, leafhoppers and springtails.