The weather was better today and I was able to collect a few leaf and Usnea lichens on Douglas fir twigs. I've been wanting to get a closer look at the lichens, to try to get a better understanding of their varied structures, looking at them under my little microscope.
I am easily side-tracked. The leaf lichens were crawling with tiny beasties; flies, worms, baby sowbugs, and several species of springtails. Most were too busy for my slow focusing with the microscope, but a few globular springtails were sleepy.
The globulars are the cutest of all the six-legged critters. This first one was hiding in the bottom of a birds' nest fungus.
|Collembola, Dicyrtoma sp. The circle of lights are from the microscope.|
|Getting a bit closer in.|
|Full side view. He's carrying a drop of water in his mouthparts. He dropped it soon after.|
|Two more, on a wet piece of bark.|
|And one walking over one of the worms. The worm is about 1 cm. long.|
Watching the springtails live, I could see that the pattern on their abdomens constantly shifted back and forth, as if a small light was moving inside. Heartbeat or breathing or digestion?
|Very tiny. Maybe as long as a springtail's leg. By the mouthparts in front, it could be some variety of mite. Or not.|