Springtails! It’s spring!

Water springtails mean we are soooo close to spring! While everyone just a bit south – and east – and west – of us is enjoying Big Night, the official coming of

spring and the emergence of spotted salamanders and such, we are still in the last clutches of winter.

However, I’ll happily take water fleas while we wait!

Pond fleas, Podura aquatica, macro blue pink, water springtails, water fleas

Look at those colors! Water springtails, or water fleas,or Podura aquatica. Related to the snow flea (which I never saw this year, bah

humbug!), but living it’s entire life on the surface of the water, scavenging for organic matter.

Just like their ‘flea’ and ‘springtail’ common names imply, springtails don’t stop moving!

Water springtails, water fleas, size, podura aquatica

Of course, combined with how tiny they are, this makes for interesting macro photography. See those  dots? Those dots are

springtails! Each one is 1-2mm in length.

water flea, water springtail, Podura aquatica, macro

How cute is he? I had to use all three extension tubes to get this close, but was unable to a tripod since they were moving around so quickly. For getting photos while outside earlier in the day luck, and the sun, were on my side and the bright light  allowed a very quick shutter speed and a decent ISO (1/320, ISO 800, f/5.6). For back at home (this picture above), even though I had every light I could find on, the best I could do was 1/60, ISO 800). Keith sharpened it for me in

his astrophotography software, and I’m pretty happy with the result.

We are headed out again today and it’s supposed to be 50 degrees! Melt snow, melt!


the dirty girl at dirty botany
Head dirty girl at dirtybotany.com!
Bug worshiper.
Slime mold fanatic.
Macrophotographer in training.

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