|The white snow, with deer tracks,|
and bugs gather at the low spot
on a mild winter's day.
In summer we have wonderful green trees, leaves, brightly coloured flowers, but in winter it gets pretty monotone.
We've had a warm spell, with above freezing temperatures. It feels like April, truly.
Lots of dirty, white melting snow.
Lots of little black snow fleas!
They are incredibly difficult to photograph. This is my attempt #2!
|snow flea in the macro lens|
This photography is harder than it looks!
|Look at the size of it on my dirty thumbnail!|
|Yes, they serve a purpose!|
|Hard to believe their size.|
(Hypogastrura harveyi and Hypogastrura nivicola) are species of springtail. They spring about on snow on plus zero days like today. They are really a dark blue colour, about 1 - 2 mm long. With no wings, they spring about on the snow by a catapult: two tail-like furcula on their lower abdomen.
They have short antennae, and have two eye clusters (with 16 eyes in each). (Check out both links for better close-ups than mine! But they are creepy in macro!)
They have a purpose: they eat decaying organics as well as bacteria, fungi, algae, pollen, round worms and rotifers.
In spring they mate, females lay eggs, the nymphs molt a few times and by winter they are adults.
Snow Fleas, and other springtails, include: beetles, ants, mites, centipedes, chiggers, salamanders, and other small insect-eaters. (Didn't notice any on my walkabout!)