Global diversity of springtails (Collembola; Hexapoda) in freshwater

  • Louis DeharvengEmail author
  • Cyrille A. D’Haese
  • Anne Bedos
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 198)


Water-dependency appeared independently in several clades of the class Collembola, which is basically of terrestrial origin according to recent phylogenetic analyses. Though moderately diversified (less than 8,000 species), Collembola are among the most numerous terrestrial arthropods in wetland communities, with a small number of species living on the surface of water. Many species are dependent on water-saturated atmosphere of caves, and on snow or ice in high mountains. A total of 525 water-dependent species have been recognized, of which 103 are linked to free freshwaters and 109 to anchialine or marine waters. Many interstitial species are also dependent to an unknown extent on water saturation in the deep layers of the soil. The numbers provided here are underestimates, as Collembola are extremely poorly known outside the Holarctis, and the ecology of described species usually not documented. However, a general biogeographical pattern is emerging from available data. The most remarkable feature is that about 15% of the fauna is water-dependent in the holarctic region, compared to 4% in the tropics and southern hemisphere.


Collembola Wet habitats Biogeography 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Deharveng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cyrille A. D’Haese
    • 1
  • Anne Bedos
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR5202 CNRS, Origine, Structure et Evolution de la BiodiversitéMuséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance

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