Experimenting with detritivores

Vermis

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
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195
Excellent showcase. The diversity and variety of springtails from just one area surprises me. I really like those watermelon globs!

I use a nikkon d3300 with a nikkor af 18-55mm kit lens. Far from ideal and I have to crop the actual photos a ton(which is why they're so grainy) but an actual macro lens is out of my budget range.
I can't believe my first two posts after three years are about these things, but...


I have a set of Nanoha tubes for my Lumix GX80. Like the article says, they don't match up to a dedicated macro lens, but you can get some decent results, futzing about on a budget.
 

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Apr 3, 2020
Messages
269
Excellent showcase. The diversity and variety of springtails from just one area surprises me. I really like those watermelon globs!



I can't believe my first two posts after three years are about these things, but...


I have a set of Nanoha tubes for my Lumix GX80. Like the article says, they don't match up to a dedicated macro lens, but you can get some decent results, futzing about on a budget.
Yeah, I've definitely been considering extension tubes or maybe a reversal ring. never got around to actually getting one though.
 

andy1997

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
24
Hello, sorry to post this in your thread, but you seem very knowledgeable. Any idea what the creature at 0:12 seconds is? I'm used to seeing springtails in my water dishes, but I don't think I've ever seen these before. Thanks in advance.
 

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Apr 3, 2020
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269
Created some new setups for my arid species, ground up some bricks and charcoal to make a paste that turns into a hardened dirt like surface when dried. The inherent humidity of plaster setups seemed to be inhibiting the Seria sp 13, Entomobrya unostrigata, atrocincta, and other dry lovers. Also cut some holes in the lid and covered them with wire mesh to improve circulation.

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The Morulina aren't breeding, but the population has stabilized in their new setup. I haven't had any deaths since the move. Also collected even more, oddly enough my Morulina now outnumber the Neanura. Haven't been able to find too many of the latter despite being very common before.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Apr 3, 2020
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269
Maybe seasonally abundant, dormant as eggs or similar?
That is the case, but this should be the season in which they are abundant. I found a few more in leaf litter today, so maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.

Found some cool looking yellowish Isotomurus, which I havent seen before.

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Also found some black Sminthruinus elegans, the species is dimorphic but I'm not sure why.
Usual watermelon coloration,

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And the 4 spotted black coloration.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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269
Beautiful little pudgy poduromorphs! I’ve been hunting for them for years! Do you have any tips on how you keep and collect them?
They're found in quite a lot of places, depending on the species rotten wood, fungi, flat rocks, and leaf litter are the most productive. Rotten wood and fungi seem to provide the highest diversity of larger species while smaller species can be sifted out by the thousands from leaf litter. As for keeping a plaster bottomed dish seems to work the best, and they often need natural organic material to survive such as bits of rotten wood, fungus, and slime mold.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
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They're found in quite a lot of places, depending on the species rotten wood, fungi, flat rocks, and leaf litter are the most productive. Rotten wood and fungi seem to provide the highest diversity of larger species while smaller species can be sifted out by the thousands from leaf litter. As for keeping a plaster bottomed dish seems to work the best, and they often need natural organic material to survive such as bits of rotten wood, fungus, and slime mold.
Wow! thanks for the info! I'll be sure to do that then
 

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Joined
Apr 3, 2020
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269
Past month or so has been a period of trial and error. Oddly enough, the new arid setups I made work very poorly for arid species but globulars actually seem to do better in them. The Seira sp 13 have basically gone extinct and the remaining survivors are scattered throughout the other cultures. The Entomobrya unostrigata have also been suffering and I moved them back to a plaster dish. The purple globulars have been breeding quite well, and I got my first pictures of globular eggs. They're laid singly and randomly.

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The purple-silver Entomobrya sp. have been doing quite well from the very start, I just never covered them as their growth was so slow. But it's steady, and stability is all I need right now. Heres a juvenile and an egg, which are also laid singly and sporadically like the globs.

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I also finally managed to collect a decent amount of Neanura muscorum via leaf litter sifting. The Morulina have still not bred, but the juveniles have grown quite a bit. I'm starting to think these guys have annual breeding periods and will grow very very slowly. The adults are quite long lived as well.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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269
Well now I know why the Morulina are not breeding. They're only half grown. This is a true adult, with a body length of 7 mm, 8 if you count the antennae. My second largest species only has a body length of 4 excluding the antennae.

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Also collected my first undamaged slime mold, which was placed directly into the enclosure.

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natureman494

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 19, 2016
Messages
18
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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I like that I'm not the only one who is keeping booklice! thats quite a nice color on yours. did you find it in the wild? also what do you keep yours on? i just do white flour and a little square of cardboard.
 

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Joined
Apr 3, 2020
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269
I like that I'm not the only one who is keeping booklice! thats quite a nice color on yours. did you find it in the wild? also what do you keep yours on? i just do white flour and a little square of cardboard.
All of these species were collected by sifting dry leaf litter. I usually use a mix of wood chips and crushed leaves for my cultures, but unfortunately I haven't really gotten that into booklice yet.
 

natureman494

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 19, 2016
Messages
18
All of these species were collected by sifting dry leaf litter. I usually use a mix of wood chips and crushed leaves for my cultures, but unfortunately I haven't really gotten that into booklice yet.
they can be quite hard to culture, I've only managed to culture the common pest variety, I want to try more in the genus Liposcelis.
 

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Apr 3, 2020
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269
The day has come! Morulina laid 5-6 clumps of large, brownish eggs. Pretty excited about this.

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Got this photo of a molting individual, very similar to hemipteran molting.

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The slime mold grew very quickly after a period of dormancy, but has unfortunately faded out completely. Examination of the plaster reveals lots of little yellow spore like structures, so it might grow back when conditions are right. Also moved the onychiuridae to a brick setup.

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Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Apr 3, 2020
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269
Discovered populations of a couple new species for me. There's this odd, relatively large bluish entomobryidae I find under debris on bare sections of mud.

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This gorgeous little species of Entomobrya, E. griseoolivata, which I found living among cracks in a crumbling rock face.. The smallest Entomobrya I've seen, unless all I have are juveniles. Quite variable in coloration too. Hopefully these do well.

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And as a bonus, I found an odd looking E. atrocincta male in the same spot. I've never seen one with a central stripe like this, reminds me of unostrigata patterning.

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