Seen yesterday at Grand Ridge. I kept going by these puddles with leopard spots and finally stopped to check one out. The spots are wriggling clumps of insects. Seen in an area that had a fair number of deciduous trees (maples?).
Are these newly hatched from eggs? Are they adults and mating? What are they?
They're not really fleas, they're springtails. Snow fleas eat algae on top of snow and have a compound in their blood that allows them to operate at freezing temperatures. That protein is being studied for use in organ transplants and.. ice cream.
Hmm. Maybe these are a snow flea relative? Some springtails are leaf composters.
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