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Collembola - Hypogastrura nivicola

Collembola - Hypogastrura nivicola
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
February 10, 2010
Size: ~1.3mm
Found between layers of decaying bark. Looks like something in Family Hypogastruridae. No Furca on this species as three different individuals were gently prodded and did not jump.

Images of this individual: tag all
Collembola - Hypogastrura nivicola Collembola - Hypogastrura nivicola Collembola - Hypogastrura nivicola


Hypogastrura nivicola
- area verticalis on head (middorsal plate behind eyes) with 1+1 setae, typically for nivicola species-group
- minute anal spines
- chaetatoxy on abd.4: setae in 3 rows : anterior (a), middle (m) and posterior (p) row; setae in m row only present laterally (middorsal setae missing)

Hypogastrura is typically IDed based on chaetotaxy (position and distribution of setae on the body). Your pics are of the few that make it possible to ID such specimens on photographs using chaetotaxy.
Usually microscope slide mount preparations have to be made to ID Hypogastrura specimens. Keep up the good work!

This series has a scanning electron microscope look to it. Outstanding!

(I presume those are fungus fruiting bodies in the other image?)

Wow, Thanks David!
Yes, they are tiny fruiting bodies growing between the layers of decaying bark. I don't know if the springtails were feeding on them though.

These little collembola were very active, despite their 'blobby' appearance. I had to take 50 or so images to get a few good ones as they were constantly on the move.

What the heck are you doing to get such amazingly sharp and detailed images? I just got an MPE-65, but I feel like I might as well be taking pictures with a cell phone when I compare mine with yours.

make sure your diopter adjustment is focused to resolve the focusing screen. This can throw your focus off as the MPE is a manual focus lens. What camera body and flash are you using? That pic isn't too bad. Maybe it's just a matter of getting used to the lens.

Diopter is focused...
though it did take me a little while to figure out what was going on with that.

I've got the MPE-65 on a Digital Rebel XSi 12 MP with a Twin Lite flash. Is the difference in quality that big between the camera bodies? It will probably help if I spend some more time with the flash manual... I felt like there wasn't enough light coming out, even though I was using spot metering. I did get good results taking closeups of faces of ladybugs and leaf-footed bugs in my house, without that bright snow in the background.

I'm also wondering, what do you use for post processing? I'm finding that when I try to sharpen images taken with this camera, they quickly become grainy in a way that doesn't happen with images from my Nikon. Not sure what that's about.

a little more difficult (for me anyway) to get good images of small dark subjects against a bright white background. Experiment with FEC settings in camera to find what works best. I am always changing FEC when shooting.

Are you shooting RAW and converting to 16 bit TIFF to work in Photoshop post process?

Thanks Frans!
I'm always looking for Collembola. It's nice to find one species I haven't seen before.

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