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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meet the Snow Flea

If you live in the northern United States, this is a very common bug, but I haven't talked about it before. It's commonly called a snow flea, but it's not a flea. It's not an insect either, but it is a cousin of the insects. It's an arthropod like shrimp, crabs, scorpions, centipedes, spiders, insects, etc. Arthropod just means "jointed foot."

Did you notice in the pictures yesterday that there were black specks beside the feathers, on the snow? Those little guys are the snow fleas! Scientific name Hypogastrura nivicola.

I've made a short Shark Show you may enjoy.

Other arthropods
See Horseshoe Crab
See Wolf Spider
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Ratty said...

Wow! I never knew anything like this existed, especially in the snow.

rainfield61 said...

They look like black pepper in the snow.

They are lifted when wind is blowing.

Duxbury Ramblers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Duxbury Ramblers said...

Must be getting old I deleted that before I realized what I had pressed, clicky finger.
Will now have to start again: We have Springtails here but never heard them called Snow Fleas - I like the name it suits them :)

Carolyn said...

I absolutely LOVE this blog--have been a lurker for a long, long time. Thanks for a great and informative video! Also, thank you for sharing your unique outlook and fabulous photography.

Walk in the Woods said...

I have seen them, though never knew them by name ~ thanks for the honorable introduction!

Beverly Diehl said...

Showing you some love just because you posted on Talli's link you stripped off the WV.

Happy I live in SoCal where we only have regular, not snow fleas.

jakill said...

Brilliant Shark Show. I loved it.

Ann said...

I can't recall ever seeing these before but then again I don't do much outside when it's cold.

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- look for them on a warm day

rainfield- I think they hunker down when it's windy

Carole- Either name is pretty cute.

Carolyn- lurk away! But thanks for coming out of hiding a bit. Comment whenever you want.

Rose- I bet you'll see them more often now that you know

Beverly- Thanks for coming by! We have regular fleas too- different time of year, though

Jean- Horray! Thanks for letting me know

Ann- I'm sure you have them- just keep your eyes open on sunny winter days

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