Rock Springtail Anurida maritima

Rock Springtail Anurida maritima

Class Collembola (Springtails)
Order Entomobryomorpha (Elongated springtails)
Family Neanuridae (Neanurid springtails)
Species Anurida maritima (Guérin-Méneville, 1836)

Length 3 mm.

A bluish-grey springtail with 3 thoracic segments and 6 abdominal segments. It has 3 pairs of legs. The entire body is covered with white hydrophobic hairs which allow it to stay above the surface of the water on which it spends much of its life. The Rock Springtail cannot leap like other springtails.

Females lay eggs in sites with available free water. Eggs increase in size by water uptake, increasing their resistance to mechanical disturbances and dry conditions. It feeds on dead and decaying organic material, especially dead animals like molluscs and crustaceans.

Most active during the summer, it is found on intertidal rocky shorelines, often in rock pools, and usually in large clusters. Common and widespread on all British coasts, with the exception of the north-east Scottish and south-east Irish coasts.

Found in shallow rock pool, Llandudno, Wales April 2014. © Peter Hillman.