Springtails are small, wingless insects, barely half an inch long. They vary in color depending on species, ranging from black to white, yellow, lavender, red, green or gold. Some are patterned or mottled and some are iridescent or metallic due to the scales which cover the body. In addition to antennae and three pairs of true legs, springtails jump with an unusual forked structure on the end of their abdomen.
They feed on algae and decomposing vegetable matter, bacteria and fungi. Springtails prefer dark, damp areas. Look for springtails in natural habitats, like leaf mold, damp soil and rotting logs. Some species injure sprouting seeds, roots and tender shoots, occasionally causing concern in greenhouses, seedbeds and mushroom beds. However, they are harmless to man and animals.