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Photo#1347481
Unknown Globular Springtail - Sphaeridia pumilis - male

Unknown Globular Springtail - Sphaeridia pumilis - Male
Naples, Collier County, Florida, USA
March 4, 2015
Size: ~.1 mm
This very tiny purple springtail was living in leaf litter beneath a sand live oak tree.

Images of this individual: tag all
Unknown Globular Springtail - Sphaeridia pumilis - male Unknown Globular Springtail - Sphaeridia pumilis - male Unknown Globular Springtail - Sphaeridia pumilis - male Unknown Globular Springtail - Sphaeridia pumilis - male

Moved
Moved from Globular Springtails.

New genus and species for the Guide. Very cool.

Sphaeridia pumilis male

 
You
are an incredible expert. How can you tell from my poorly focused photographs that this is a male? Thank you so very much for the identification. :)

 
That is easy, really. I'll tell you the secret ;-)
Members of the family Sminthurididae are sexually dimorphic. That is : the sexes are morphologically different. As in humans ;-)
The difference is in the antennae. Females have 'normal' antennae. Males have modified 'grasping' antennae. The grasping mechanism is formed by setae and papillae on the 2nd and 3rd antennal segment. In Sminthurides most complex. In Sphaeridia the grasping mechanisme is very simple : just a few macrosetae. You can see in some images that the 2nd and 3rd antennal segments are kind of in an angle. The antennae seem kind of broken. This is typical for the male. I cannot see the setae in your images. Try to make a dark field illumination shot : dark background with sideways illumination. The setae will become visible then.
With the grasping antennae the male grasps the bases of the antennae of a female. During this courtship ritual you may find couples head to head. Kind of kissing ;-) Females often walk around with an uplifted male clasped to her antennae. It is quite funny to see that.
Now you are an expert too. Have fun!

 
This
is incredible information. Collembolans are such an interesting group with so many fascinating structures and behaviors. Thanks so very much for teaching me about these fascinating hexapods!!!

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