- Last updated on 2004.07.28 by Frans Janssens
Checklist of the Collembola: Aggregations of Ceratophysella sigillata in Landl, Austria

Frans Janssens, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp (RUCA), Antwerp, B-2020, Belgium


Note: This preliminary version of the document is currently being revised.

Note: click on any image to open it in a larger magnification to view more details


On 1998.02.24, 08h00 am, the specimens have been collected by Ronny Moortgat by filling a small tube with springtails from an aggregation just outside the house of the family Sieberer, Wacht 5, A-6335, Landl, Austria. Temperature about 4 C. Air humidity estimated at 85%. About one week earlier temperature at noon in the sun 35 to 40 C. On 1998.02.23, clouds, no sun, temperature 7 C. Collembola appeared in patches of rather large numbers, largest patch surface estimated at 4 dm2. Largest thickness of patch about 2 cm.


Table 1. Overview of collected material
Ordo Poduromorpha BÖRNER, 1913
Familia Hypogastruridae SCHÖTT, 1891
Ceratophysella RONDANI, 1861 sigillata (TULLBERG, 1871) BROOK, 1883
AU?1???Landl???1998.02.241000+e2Moortgat RJacobs WKAVE3 Janssens F

1 AU?=Austria; 2 e=exemplar; 3 KAVE=Koninklijke Antwerpse Vereniging voor Entomologie


Fig.1. Ceratophysella sigillata, overview patch.
Photograph Moortgat R. © 1998.
Aggregation of large numbers of specimens of Hypogastruridae is an exciting phenomenon. Within the family Hypogastruridae it is quite a common phenomenon. This behaviour is induced by pheromones. Individuals are guided to each other by those pheromones and due to the aggregation of the individuals the concentration of the pheromones increases, attracting more individuals to join the group. Aggregations of specimens can become very large.
Fig.2. Ceratophysella sigillata, patch in detail.
Photograph Moortgat R. © 1998.
Slowly moving patch of Collembola.
Fig.3. Ceratophysella sigillata, patch close-up.
Photograph Moortgat R. © 1998.
Specimens crawl over each other in such a way that the patch can become about 2 cm thick.


I would like to thank Ronny Moortgat and Peter De Batist for giving me permission to reproduce the images of the aggregations. To be completed.



1 Gisin's fixative :
     95% ethanol750 ml
     ethyl ether250 ml
     glacial acetic acid30 ml
     40% formaldehyde3 ml

2 Gisin's clearing medium :
     lactic acid100 ml
     glycerol20 ml
     40% formaldehyde4 ml