Springtails (Collembola) are the largest group of hexapods. They are small (up to 6 mm) but very abundant, with up to 100,000 reputed to live in each cubic metre of top soil. Most have a tail-like appendage held under their abdomen called a furcula which is held under tension. If they feel threatened it can be released to catapult them into the air to escape. They live in soil and in leaf litter where they eat mainly dead vegetation and microbes, though some eat living plants and can be pests.
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