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Orange Springtails "Yuuklanura Aphoruroides"

Orange Springtails "Yuuklanura Aphoruroides"

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Springtails are part of the Hexapod subphylum. Although they look like insects, they are not considered insects. They are considered great companion pets for isopods and, thus, are even sold together often.

Even though isopods and springtails are often inhabited together, they differ in many aspects. For example, isopods are detritivores, while springtails are omnivores. Omnivores means that they consume both animal and plant matter.

A wide variety of springtails are living as pets in many households worldwide. One of the most popular is the Orange Springtails or the Protonura sp. 

Orange Springtails: A Glimpse

  • Scientific Name:Yuuklanura Aphoruroides AKA Protanurs Orange

  • Origin: Asia

  • Availability: Very Rare

  • Temperature: 75 Degree Fahrenheit

  • Level of Difficulty: Easy

  • Favorite Foods: Brewer’s Yeast, Fish Flakes, Fruits, etc.

Orange Springtails: An Overview

Orange springtails are strikingly orange in color. The bright orange color is the major attraction of this group of hexapods. Their color often varies between different shades of red and yellow. 

The newborn orange springtails are off-white. They change color into yellow, red, and bright orange as they grow up. They are popular for their voracious appetite. 

They prefer moderately moist conditions. So, a moderately damp enclosure with soil substrate would be the right way to keep them. But they manage to survive on other substrate mediums, too.

As mentioned before, they are highly responsive to food. They eat almost any kind of food. But the favorites are dried mealworms, fish flakes, wood bark, etc. 

Experts advise keeping the orange springtails in non-vented containers. Because they tend to reach up to the vents and climb out. They grow up to 4 mm in length. As they are tiny, relatively small containers and tanks are enough to keep them.

Orange Springtails: Habitat and Enclosure

Here are some pointers on the orange springtail habitat to remember while setting up their enclosures.

  • Orange springtails prefer damp soil to live in. So, the enclosure needs to retain moisture always.

  • These springtails need plenty of organic matter and vegetation to consume. So, add enough wood and leaf matter while setting up the enclosure.

  • Ready-made enclosures are not necessary for these springtails. You can use simple containers and tanks to make DIY enclosures. These springtails are small and easy to care for, so you don’t need a custom-made enclosure.

  • You can use acrylic or transparent plastic containers to keep these springtails.

  • Make sure not to leave any ventilation holes in the container. The springtails usually climb up the container and may climb through the ventilation holes.

  • They get enough ventilation and condensation when you open the upper lid of the container for feeding processes. 

  • You must open the tank lid multiple times to feed and wet the substrate soil. So, this will be enough condensation and ventilation for the springtails to survive.

  • You must fill the tank with at least two inches of substrate mix. Always leave room for air clearance. You should never fill the tank with too much substrate.

  • On the substrate, you can add moss, leaf litter, etc. These provide the best hiding spots for the orange springtails. Also, these are the perfect places for the beneficial bacteria to grow.

  • Bacteria, fungus, and mold are some of the favorite foods of orange springtails. So, it is fine for them to grow in the enclosure.

  • You can always add live plants in the enclosure. These springtails do not consume live greens. So, the live plants will remain intact and pleasing to the eyes.

  • Also, adding live plants provides some extra surface for the springtails to climb and engage in. They may consume the sprouting parts of the plants. But usually, they do not cause any damage to the plant.

Orange Springtails: Diet

Here are some essential things to remember regarding the diet of Orange Springtails.

  • Orange springtails naturally consume various microorganisms that grow around their habitat. So, in their enclosures,you must ensure the soil is damp enough for such microorganisms to grow.

  • Fish flakes arean excellent protein source for these springtails. High protein consumption helps to increase the reproduction rate in these springtails.

  • Minnows and mealworms are other food sources that provide enough protein for the springtails.

  • Ready-made springtail food and supplements can also feed the springtails.

  • As they have a high appetite, it is advisable to feed them at regular intervals.

  • Leaf litter is also a good food source for them. 

  • You need not worry about providing them with dried food. They have a unique sucking mechanism in their mouth that can chew on even extremely dry food.

Orange Springtails: Substrate Mix

Orange springtails need their habitat to be reasonably damp always. Thus, having the right substrate mix is crucial for their survival. Also, if you don’t pay enough attention to maintaining the moisture content of the substrate, it could be harmful to the springtails.

Usually, these springtails are kept on one of the two different substrate mixes. They are as follows.

  • Flake soil substrate

  • Calcium-bearing clay substrate

The flake soil substrate is made from rotting white wood. It is relatively difficult to source the white wood for making this substrate. The Calcium-bearing clay substrate is made for order by many reputed manufacturers. You can purchase from them to set up your enclosure.

The most important thing to remember about the substrate mix is to keep it damp always. It is advisable to water or spray the substrate at regular intervals. 

While watering the substrate, you must consider your home region's ambient humidity and temperature. Because the level of humidity and condensation differ in the various areas. So, the amount of water you need to spray into an orange springtail enclosure will also be different.

You have to observe the water retention capacity of the substrate in your tank in the initial days. Then, you have to adjust the watering intervals accordingly. 

You can include coconut coir, moss, softwood chunks, etc., in the substrate mix. You can also leave some leaf litter at random spots. Make sure not to cover the entire top part of the soil with leaf litter. 

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