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Hello everyone! I have noticed that most places where you can purchase springtails only sell certain kinds. The common whites or sometimes the larger black springtails.

I remember when I was younger I had a colony of red springtails. These were wild caught and I'm 100% sure they were not mites. They were not shaped like the usual ones you find sold, but actually were globular instead of sausage shaped. They were also bright red which I thought was pretty darn interesting to see. Sadly my culture died due to my parents deciding to throw out the "disgusting bugs" while I was on holiday with my friend.

This however made me wonder, why haven't more attractive "exotic" looking springtails taken to the market yet? I'd quite enjoy to see colourful springtails within my terrariums and vivariums. There is all kinds of beautiful colours and shapes. This kind of thing has been explored with isopods but from what I've seen it hasn't even been touched with springtails.
 

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Yeah there is a few, but I'm talking about colourful looking springtails. Bright reds, oranges, yellows etc. There is so many nice looking springtails out there and the hobby seems to only bother with the dull looking ones. It's almost as if nobody has bothered to explore with other possibilities. I find it odd that there is very few people out there that have tried to get their hands on more interesting kinds. They look so much better than the ones being sold currently.
 

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There are tons of beautiful springtails that as far as I know have never made it into the hobby – not sure how well any of the sampling below do in captivity, but they're fun to dream about.


Paralobella orousseti from the Philippines. Tracking down the reference but I think under 3 mm. Photo 2002 © Deharveng, L. via https://www.collembola.org/taxa/neanurid.htm


Unidentified orange species from Japan, 2mm. Photo from Natural-Japan.net » Collembola

The most fantastic are the fifteen or so species in the subfamily Uchidanurinae, which can reach 10mm(!) and sport fantastic lobes and protrusions. Here's Caledonimeria mirabilis, endemic to New Caledonia:



Photo © Cyrille d’Haese via Les Collemboles : acteurs de la vie du sol - Encyclopédie de l'environnement
 

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Thanks for the photos of such beautiful springtails. Do you know of sources for any of them? Where can you get black ones?
 

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Maybe because we prefer function over form. I guess we're satisfied with the job that the springtails we have are already doing so there isn't a need for "exotic" springtails. A lot of times some species are also not very fit for vivariums but I'm sure we'd be open to new species that may be suitable for vivariums and considered "exotic" under your definition.
 

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Maybe because we prefer function over form. I guess we're satisfied with the job that the springtails we have are already doing so there isn't a need for "exotic" springtails. A lot of times some species are also not very fit for vivariums but I'm sure we'd be open to new species that may be suitable for vivariums and considered "exotic" under your definition.
AGREED!

I culture my springs to mainly feed to froglets. And I don't think they care what color they are :)
 

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Springtails are some of the coolest little creatures. The variety seems almost endless. Here in Utah I have found at least 6 different species in my house and backyard. There have even been many that have taken up residence in some of my tanks that I have with no frogs. Unfortunately, I believe that they are very understudied. I'm sure that someone could easily go around and identify new species. My favorite common ones are snow fleas. They are crazy when the snow starts to melt.
 

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Through the years I have cultured six forms. The common white temperate, tropical whites, tropical blues, jumbo temperate gray/blues, red springtails, and temperate silvers. The last three were collected locally(Ga). The jumbo gray/blue were found in cedar tree fungus(called apple pods I believe). The reds came from a friend greenhouse pond. I thought maybe from the foods he used turned a white species red but even after long periods of just yeast feeding no color change. Mites and the last springtail took them out. The final is the temperate silver they are tough to kill and the backs really look like mirrors on the little guys.
 

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For microfauna I like diversity. But I always ask myself "is the climb worth the view"? And so I make an effort to have a variety of stuff rotating on the menu/cleanup crew. But at the end of the day, I stick to what is productive and worth the effort. I could add more to the menu. But just like a restaurant, sometimes a bigger menu is more trouble than it's worth, and may cause more problems than gains.
 
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