Experimenting with detritivores

XxSpiderQueenxX

Arachnoknight
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Feb 14, 2019
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289
Pour a th

Pour a thin, watery layer of plaster/water mix into the bottom of a somewhat deep container and let it cure. Thats it.
Oh, so the springtails live directly on the plaster? is there any need for substrate like leaf mulch or anything?
 

schmiggle

Arachnoking
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Entomobrya unostrigata eggs are hatching. You can actually see the eyes in mature eggs, which I find adorable.
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Isotomurus have also bred, but the adults have died off a bit.
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Basically 100% certain the dicyrtominae have bred as well, some of these juveniles are too small to have been collected.
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Also some odd globs with very large eyes, not sure if these are just small dicyrtominae or a different species/genus. They have shorter antennae and a "Y" shaped pattern as well.
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Lovely as always, and glad to see these are all breeding for you, particularly the globs :) Are you doing anything special with them?

I'm guessing the Dicyrtominae with bigger eyes are a different species, though I don't know enough to really say. Couldn't they be a totally different family?
 

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Oh, so the springtails live directly on the plaster? is there any need for substrate like leaf mulch or anything?
For the majority of species, no.
Lovely as always, and glad to see these are all breeding for you, particularly the globs :) Are you doing anything special with them?

I'm guessing the Dicyrtominae with bigger eyes are a different species, though I don't know enough to really say. Couldn't they be a totally different family?
They probably are. I never said they were dicyrtominae, but I guess I threw the 2 around enough to get confusing :p Main way to tell would be hairs on the back, dicyrtominae have a big ol tuft of long hairs near the top of the rear. But these are too small for my camera too pick up the hairs.
 

Snailientologist

Arachnopeon
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Sep 26, 2020
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On several instances I've seen some strange little blue-gray springtails hiding in the ridges of bark on living trees. Any idea what they might be? I was really shocked to see them because it hadn't occurred to me they could be arboreal.
 

Ponerinecat

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On several instances I've seen some strange little blue-gray springtails hiding in the ridges of bark on living trees. Any idea what they might be? I was really shocked to see them because it hadn't occurred to me they could be arboreal.
That could be any one of three orders, so no, I'm drawing a blank. Arboreal springtails are surprisingly common, but I've only ever seen Entomobrya atrocincta aboveground, feeding on flower pollen.
 

Ponerinecat

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Found a couple "nurseries" of giant neanurids under stones, about ten juveniles each tightly packed into a round chamber. 3 adults and some more juvies were found nearby, giving me a total of 26.

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Exhibiting the "nursery" behavior in captivity.
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Ponerinecat

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Collected some sub .6 mm neelipleona springtails, the smallest order of springtails in both number and size.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Gorgeous metallic deep blue lepidocyrtinae.

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Sminthurinus elegans, a beautiful melon like glob that appears to feed on plants. Because of that I've put the few I collected in a small container with live grass.

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Also collected several booklice species, because why not. They make great clean ups for arid setups.

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Ponerinecat

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Booklices look like to springtail. Perhaps convergent evolution??
They're both small detritivores that live in tiny places, like gaps in rotting wood, soil crevices, or under bark, so I would imagine it is convergent evolution to an extent. Definitely a milder example of it though.
 

Ponerinecat

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A very small native entomobrya species, was only able to collect 5-6. They're quite pretty, hope I can get more.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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I was able to get 4 more of those native Entomobrya, but the highlight of today was the discovery of a huge patch of Seria sp 13. They were congregating underneath a rock, with mats of them forming on small spiderwebs. The cold weather seems to draw a lot of small inverts to congregate on concealed spider webs, I also saw a group of 14 or so snout mites on a patch of web. Not sure why they do that, but it's a good thing to look for when hunting in cold weather. Ended up collecting at least a thousand of them, which I put into my Entomobrya unostrigata bin. Will definitely be marking the spot for future visits. Strangely they seem to like elevation and form clusters at the container rim.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Went bush beating for spiders, and instead I got a ton of arboreal globs! They've been tentatively IDed as Ptenothrix beta, I'd imagine they could do well on a bonsai tree. Might have to try that.

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Heres a view of the furca, which is the jumping organ.

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schmiggle

Arachnoking
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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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The Morulina have been doing pretty badly, I collected 2 more adults/subadults and moved them all to a new container. I put some wood and Brachycibe fungus in the container this time, hopefully they can utilize that. In the meantime heres some more microscope pictures.

Unidentified poduromorph, with a vestigial furca that doesn't serve any function.

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Dorsal view of an Entomorbya sp, revealing the reflective scales that are visible to the naked eye only as black bands.

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An extraordinarily hairy globular.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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I've decided that these purple globs are a separate species, as I can't find any coloration overlap between them and the other wood dwelling globs. I'm also getting conflicting IDs on the variable dicyrtomidae, with some being labeled as Dicyrtomina and others as Ptenothrix. The one here was Ided as Ptenothrix. Either it's one of the 2 or I have 2 lookalike genera.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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I can guarantee that you do, it's likely you just arent seeing them. Heres an arrhopalitidae next to a Reticulitermes host, most globulars are about the size of that termite's head capsule.

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