Friday 23 February 2018

Life in the leaf litter

On my latest attempt to find my first ever Pseudoscorpion, I spent this afternoon on Litcham Common armed with sieves, pots, eyepiece, tray, camera and a very warm jumper!

Granted, it's not the best time of year to find them but they are out there still. No luck today however, but as an entomology man it was hardly a waste of time. The sheer volume of life in the leaf litter beneath our very feet is truly staggering, even on a cold February day with few signs of life anywhere else, I did not have a single handful of leaves which did not contain some form of invertebrate.

I've not ID'd all the species that follow and probably wont because my bookshelf lacks a lot of the reference needed for some of these tiny inverts. Maybe another day..
If anything is blindingly obvious to you though, please do let me know.

Apologies now for the pics, these things are TINY and I don't have a dedicated macro lens but wanted to show as much as I could of what I found today.

Some Springtails:

Orchesella cincta, I believe..



At least 3 different Rove beetles but I only photographed one:


Birch Shieldbug - Elasmostethus interstinctus

Countless individuals for the Diptera fans:


Found in rotten wood, at home to be ID'd

I've seen this before, in dung (like today) but can't think of the name for life of me!

Funky Milipede:
Polydesmus sp

Lots of these little worms:

Leafhoppers. Again, I've had these before but can't put name to them right now. Not many that sit out the winter, I don't think..

...and lastly, a Tick. Or Mite?

As you can see, there's a hell of a lot of species down there, in that ecosystem under our feet!

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