Bucket of springtails
Yesterday my fish tank needed cleaning, so in between sobbing over photos of my parrot (see previous post) I decided to keep myself busy.
I keep a white bucket outside on my porch, which I use for gardening purposes as well as collecting gross fish tank water. I was about to bring it inside when I noticed something unusual. The inside of the bucket was SWARMING with springtails (creatures in the class Collembola, closely related to insects).
I took a quick video so you can see the way they were jumping – the effect is rather like popcorn.
I shook them onto the ground so I could use the bucket, and watched them crawl and hop towards the garden.
Aren’t they adorable? These springtails are in the family Sminthuridae, known as the globular sprintails. I am not sure why they decided to inhabit my overturned bucket in such large numbers (several hundred, at least, perhaps 1000 or more?). Any ideas?