Sowbugs in Chattanooga
Image via Flickr by terrygray

Springtails are six-legged omnivores known as collembolans that usually feed on decaying plant material, algae, and fungi. Despite their tiny size and bug-like appearance, springtails are not technically insects. They break down dead plant matter and spread fungal spores, which helps keep plants healthy, and since they eat fungi as well, they are good balancers for the ecosystem. You may also know them as woodlice, but this is just a common name, and lice are a completely different branch of insects. Sowbugs are technically crustaceans, just like crabs, crayfish, and barnacles. They belong to the only group of crustaceans that live on land, shared with pill bugs. Although they live on land, they require plenty of moisture to survive and will avoid dry places. You probably have seen sowbugs in your Chattanooga, especially during the summer and wet seasons.

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