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Photo#43748
Tiny white globular springtail - male

Tiny white globular springtail - Male
Hudson, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
Size: under 0.25 mm

Images of this individual: tag all
Tiny white globular springtail - male Tiny white globular springtail - male Tiny white globular springtail - male

Sminthurididae
Hi Jim. Amazing image. Although not sharp it is easy to see that the antennae of this specimen are quite deformed. It are the clasping antennae of a male Sminthurides or Sphaeridia. The male, who is much smaller than the female, clasps itself to the antennae of a female when it meets one. The male is carried around as such by the female. Whenever the female starts feeding she bends her head forward and the male lands on its feet again. He will then mate with her. The mating process is quite complex and I will spare you the details.
Look for couples of a large female with a smaller male clasped to her antennae and lying upside down on her back. Follow heir behaviour and find out yourself how they mate. You will be surprised and amused. Good hunting.

 
Hi Frans
I would be interested in your opinion of these images of what look like springtails with no furculae.

 
Wow!
Thank you for all the details, Frans. Next time I go springtail hunting with my camera I'll look for couples.

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