Jumping Bristletails are insects of the Order Archaeognatha, an ancient lineage only distantly related to all others. Fossils of this group can be found going back nearly 400 million years. They require damp areas, often hiding under objects. Their unique common name comes from the ability to flex their abdomen and jump up to 12 inches into the air when threatened.
Bristletails appear similar to Silverfish, but Bristletails have a more upright (not flattened) body, smaller heads, and their middle “tail” organ is longer in the middle than on the sides. Individual bristletail species are difficult to distinguish and there has been little study of them in Oregon, so I am simply posting a range of bristletail images that have been observed in the state.
Return to Insects guide