Monday, October 21, 2013

Minimalist critters

Tidying up the garden, I moved a flower pot and found these springtails sheltered underneath.

Onychiuridae, blind white springtails, about 1 to 3 mm. long.

I haven't seen any of these here for a couple of years. It may be that it was a bit too dry for them to be close to the surface.

They look white at first glance, but it's a milky, transparent white. The smaller they are, the more transparent. Look at this one: * Update: The little grey one, down near the centre bottom here, is a different species, probably Proisotoma sp. (See first comment, below. Thanks, Andy!)

Grey springtail, centre bottom. You can see the brown central gut through the transparent body.

Zooming in on another group.

These springtails don't spring; they lack the furcula under the abdomen. So they run around constantly, somehow always staying near their mates, even though they are blind.

Aren't they cute?

2 comments:

  1. Hi- that 'baby' springtail is actually another springtail species entirely, probably Proisotoma sp. Lovely blog by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Andy! I just jumped to a conclusion; shouldn't do that. I'm glad you corrected me. I'll update the post.

    ReplyDelete

If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!