What's new
TerraForums Venus Flytrap, Nepenthes, Drosera and more talk

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Help with pest ID.


IG carnivoregon_official
I found these bugs in a closed cup of ceph leaf pulls. The have a shiny black abdomen and 2 pretty good sized antenna compared to it's body. Small, like mite size, maybe slightly larger. Capable of decent speeds, faster than mites for sure.
I'm not 100% sure whether that is a spot on the butt area or reflection from the light.
Springtails most likely.

Scroll down toward the bottom of the page:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OwOL-MHcQ1w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Last edited:
Thanks for the input. That seems reasonable, they were mostly cruising around in the moss, and I didn't see any damage to the leaf pulls. It sure gets confusing when there are so many different kinds and they all look different. I've had the white/grey springtails, but never these black ones. They were different shaped last time too, more like the segmented ones, where these have more of a small beetle look.
I don't know what they are, but I know what they aren't, which is springtails. Body shape is all wrong. Springtails are proportionally longer and thinner, that critter has the shape of a mite, or a very tiny beetle.
The could be a mite of some sort. If you touch them with a needle and they jump definitely springtails. A 20x hand magnifying lens would give more than enough for a more positive look.

Springtails come in assorted colors and shapes depending on the family. Colors range from translucent white to blackish with various shades of blue-gray and anything between bright yellow and red. I have some that have a metallic gold/silver color that like my tropical tank. Some are soft bodied looking and others have a harder exoskeleton look to them.

Just some examples of the extremes of body type, shape and color:


Neosminthurus richardsi from the USA
2008.01.26 © Gross, J.

Hypogastrura sp. from the USA
2009.02.26 © Cowen, R.

Katiannina macgillivrayi from the USA
2009.11.26 © Justis, S.

Neanuridae from the USA
2009.06.22 © Light, K.

Isotoma viridis from the USA
2009.03.10 © Cowen, R.

Sphaeridia serrata from the USA
2006 © Maddison, D.R.

Vitronura gisellae from the USA
2008.11.27 © Justis, S.

Lobella palmeri from the USA
2015.05.04 © Anderson, J.
Last edited:
The Neosminthurus is close, but they're not a fast moving critter. Poking with a needle or toothpick a few times should help with the determination.
I couldn't get any to jump. They definitely have 2 white spots on their abdomens though. I was able to get a really good look at one that I got to climb on to my scissors. One white spot on each side in the rear of it's black abdomen.
Two spotted spider-mites have light bodies with two dark spots on the side so it may be as SubRosa suspects a beetle. Perhaps our resident entomologist will help.

Stop the presses!
Sminthurinus bimaculatus (Axelson, 1902), Not listed. - Netherlands though



Here's another species

Sminthurinus trinotatus

Looks like a smiley face on the back of the head ???
Last edited:
  • #10
Here is my best profile shot of one. This is from the underside, cause it was crawling on the cup lid.
  • #11
I got it out on to a piece of paper and it ended up jumping. Thanks guys.

Edit: I think you nailed it with those spotted ones.
Last edited: