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Snow Fleas - Hypogastrura nivicola I was hiking when I thought it had started to drizzle. I stopped and looked around to realize that everything was covered in tiny, blue springtails that were bouncing around, creating the sound of rain.<br />
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Habitat: Deciduous forest Geotagged,Hypogastrura nivicola,Snow flea,United States,Winter,blue springtail,springtail Click/tap to enlarge

Snow Fleas - Hypogastrura nivicola

I was hiking when I thought it had started to drizzle. I stopped and looked around to realize that everything was covered in tiny, blue springtails that were bouncing around, creating the sound of rain.

Habitat: Deciduous forest

    comments (10)

  1. Amazing how such a tiny creature can become audible. What triggers this mass event? Posted 5 months ago
    1. They tend to pop up out of the leaf litter on warm winter days. It might be due to overcrowding, and they emerge in search of additional food sources or to spread out. But, maybe they are just enjoying the nice day ;). Posted 5 months ago
      1. Ah, like cows on the first day of spring :) Posted 5 months ago
        1. Very similar. In fact, if you listen very closely, you can hear the snow fleas mooing. Posted 5 months ago
          1. Really!? Wow, I'll be sure to make this a regular routine, totally! Posted 5 months ago
            1. Definitely! If you ever see them, make sure to bend close to the ground and listen intently. If you don't hear anything, you can moo at them first. But, make sure you moo really loudly and melodically. They like that. Posted 5 months ago
              1. Excellent. And when others run into this and see and hear me do this, I think I should just double down, right? Commit to it? Posted 5 months ago, modified 5 months ago
                1. You got it! Oh, and it would be helpful to have Henriette video you communicating with the snow fleas. It may help further science. Posted 5 months ago
                  1. Anything to further science, although I wonder which of the species on film would be the main subject of study. Posted 5 months ago
                    1. It could go either way. Posted 5 months ago

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Snow fleas are a species of dark blue springtail, ''Hypogastrura nivicola''. They are often seen jumping about on the surface of snow on a warm winter day.

Research at Queen's University have sequenced and synthesised the anti-freeze-like protein that allows snow fleas to operate in sub-zero environments, and found its sequence to be glycine-rich, and unlike any previously known protein. There are hopes that similar proteins may be useful for storing transplant organs and for producing.. more

Similar species: Collembola
Species identified by Christine Young
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By Christine Young

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Uploaded Jan 13, 2020. Captured Jan 12, 2020 14:34 in 91 Main St, Sharon, CT 06069, USA.
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • f/5.6
  • 1/83s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm