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Photo#162792
Thrip inside snail shell

Thrip inside snail shell
Germantown, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
December 24, 2007
Size: ~1.5 mm
What seems to be a thrip inside an empty snail shell (Zonitoides arboreus) found in a soil sample from a forested park. The thrip was ~1.5 mm long; had a black body; tip of abdomen was drawn out and pointed; antennae were light colored. It refused to come out of the shell.

Images of this individual: tag all
Thrip inside snail shell Thrip inside snail shell

Thrips
I would suggest family Phlaeothripidae, the tube-tailed thrips. Strangely, both singular and plural forms of the word are "thrips". Neat images, btw.

 
Paper reporting the observation
This observation has now been reported in this paper:
http://home.earthlink.net/~snailstales2/Orstan2008b.pdf

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