Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Snowflea Paradise - Hypogastrura nivicola

Snowflea Paradise - Hypogastrura nivicola
Tiger Mt., 5 air miles SE Issaquah, elev. about 3000', King County, Washington, USA
March 6, 2011
My identification of these snowfleas was confirmed by Ken Christiansen (99-1 odds!) and Richard Zack. This remarkable photo was taken with a Canon G12 by my son, who lives in Kirkland, WA. I think the mass of snowfleas resembles the "Smoke Monster" from the t.v. show "LOST"!

Generally not squeamish about bugs or other things that bother most people, but if they were entering my crawl space, I likely would be wondering how long until I have millions of roommates, especially given another Hypogastrura post I saw of somebody saying they were in the beds and on the dish ware.

This behavior... is it known whether it's for reproduction, or massing over a food source, or perhaps sharing body heat to minimize metabolic impact (despite the built-in antifreeze). Curious! (Yes, a few years late to the conversation)

Seen this?
Read comments:

"From what I can tell, you’re right that it doesn’t do them any good to be up on the snow..."

An interesting small discussion