Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter invertebrates

It's a beautiful sunny day, so my roommate and I decided to go explore the arboretum. It's the largest green space in Montreal (well in the summer, anyway, haha) and is only a few minutes from campus.

We went to see what sorts of creatures we could find in the snow...

Saw lots of little bagworms, this piece of bark also had the shed skin of a spikey caterpillar
This little guy appears to be a mycetophilidA beautiful male Pityohyphantes costatus ... just look at those pedipalps!Spent about 20 minutes trying to photograph this fly, and this is the best I got. It's only about 4mm long - after some investigation we have determined it is in the family Lonchopteridae, most likely the genus LonchopteraThis Harmonia axyridis was either dead or just very cold.Teensy tiny little pupae - probably a mothAnd finally - a collembolan! That was the goal of our entire trip, to see some snow fleas. I finally fell into the snow to really look, and we started seeing them everywhere. They are SO CUTE! We saw a variety of sizes and got to watch them jump around... we were squealing like little girls. I'm sure we got some strange looks from the passing skiers.

They were likely either Hypogastrura nivicola or harveyiWe will have to do this more often :)


Anonymous said...


You're going to make a snow flea plushie today, aren't you? With polyfill for snow? Please?

I'm going back out with my YakTrax™ right now to look for some.

GW said...

I've never seen a snow flea before. How cute is THAT?? And your plushies are great.

Gardenwife said...

This doggoned Google keeps sending me notifications for every comment (all spam at this point) even though I unsubscribed. When I click unsubscribe, it takes me to the comment page, but says up top, "You are already unsubscribed". Grr~ I am not requesting emailed follow-up comments.