Sitting With The Springtails

Deuterosminthurus pallipes

Just sitting in the garden, looking and listening, so much life going on around me. I look down and focus, and see movement on the plants below. I could not tell what they were with the naked eye, they were so small, but they were alive and moving.

Deuterosminthurus pallipes

Through the lens of my camera I could see the above creature was a bright yellow springtail, quite a cute critter, with big cartoony eyes. I had never seen this one before, and he or she was very busy moving around the leaf. I later identified it as Deuterosminthurus pallipes. They grow up to 1mm (0.04in) long, and apparently they like to dance before mating. They also come in purple, and when the yellow ones and purple ones mate their off spring is yellow or purple, nothing in between.

Entomobrya intermedia

Directly above is another springtail called Entomobrya intermedia, which is slightly longer at 2mm (0.08in).

This is extreme macro and well beyond the capabilities of my macro lens. To get closer to these you need extension tubes, I guess.

Please click on an image for a larger more detailed view. Clicking a second time may get you a little closer.

Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. July 2017.


15 thoughts on “Sitting With The Springtails

  1. Still a great macro, Pete.
    I don’t which is better…..your eyesight at spotting these tiny insects…….or your ability to hold the camera still enough to capture them in the frame with good sharp focus 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vicki 🙂 Spotting them initially, and then hoping they will just keep still, along with the leaf they are on which flaps in the breeze, so you can get some kind of focus. This is were you do need a tripod and a controlled environment. Above all you need patience 🙂


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