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What's That Itty Bitty Bug in Your Photo?

Okay, something I admittedly REALLY love about fungi photography: finding little details that I'd not seen in the field later on when I upload the photos to my computer and take a closer look!


My favorite of these occasions are when I spot tiny signs of life--and I'm especially partial to "Globular Springtails" (Symphypleona), the cutie patooties seen in these photos (circled in red):


It's those round behinds that I love the most! So much character.


Although Springtails (Collembola) were once considered to be insects, they have now be reclassified as "hexapods", or wingless 6-legged arthropods (so they're not really "bugs" at all!). They are globally widespread and live just about anywhere. The "Globular Springtail" is different from many other springtails due to its shape, described by iNaturalist as being "very round animals, almost spherical," which for some reason I find extremely entertaining. It certainly is that chunky little tookus that causes me to squeal at their cuteness every time! And those antennae? Adorable.


GET THIS:

While I was researching for this post, I learned something absolutely crazy that I'd no knowledge of previously... these might just be one of the fastest animals on Earth! When they jump into the air as a means of movement, they actually spin in circles--374 flips per second, to be exact! WOW!


Globular Springtails are harmless and primarily consume fungi and decaying plant matter. Have you ever seen one?



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