Sitting With The Springtails II

Deuterosminthurus pallipes

Here we are again, sitting in the late afternoon sun, amongst some rather interesting friends. Some of them familiar, like the banana yellow Deuterosminthurus pallipes above, and some of them not so familiar like the plumb purple one below, which is the same species.

Deuterosminthurus pallipes

And further down we again have Entomobrya intermedia, just sitting there chilling, and the only one that kept still for me.

Entomobrya intermedia


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.

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.

 

Entomobrya intermedia

Entomobrya intermedia

Barely visible to the naked eye and with a length of 2mm, this springtail has distinctive purplish markings on its back, especially the crucial broken “U” on the large 4th abdominal segment, and the continuous “W” on the same segment, which helps to identify it compared to other similar species; but length of abdominal segments also need to be taken into account. Similar to E. nivalis, although there seems some disagreement amongst the experts whether E. intermedia and E. nivalis  are one and the same species but with variations in the markings.

They feed on leaf-litter and other dead plant matter. Found all year round living in leaf-litter and other plant detritus. Common and widespread throughout Great Britain.


March 2017, on old sundial, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2017.


To learn more about springtails please click on the image below:

Orchesella villosa
Orchesella villosa