11/21/2021: Glorious globular springtail success!
I’ve sent Will off to the leaf litters outskirts to collect new springtails a few times in the last month, and despite his efforts (and finding boatloads of a single Entomobrya sp.) this has been a pretty disappointing fall for springtails. However, though Will appears to attract Entomobrya like a fresh pile of dung attracts Phanaeus, his sifting litter collection technique (as opposed to my hunt-and-peck style) enabled him to find a species I knew was common but is difficult to catch. This is the huge (for a globby) Dicyrtoma fusca.
Will found two groups of these guys on two separate occasions, presenting me with over a dozen each time. This was the most individuals I have seen in one place synchronously; in the wild they’re easily disturbed while combing through leaf litter and sproing away with slight disturbance.
These roam less than the elongate springtails, perhaps being less dry tolerant and sticking to that magical place where the leaf litter touches the soil and all that premium decomposition occurs. Using a 32 oz deli cup I did my best to recreate these conditions, though after adding both wild caught sets I still haven’t seen any adults moving about the set-up.
A few days ago I noticed a tiny purple speck that stuck out like a sore thumb on the dark leaf litter in the container. Examination the day after with a headlamp revealed multiple purple specks… my first captive bred globbies!
Though I’m not too surprised to find babies from this hardy, common, and widely distributed species, this is a first for me. It can be difficult enough to collect and contain globbies in reasonable numbers, but this at least suggests I’m on the right path to cultivating them.Alexis, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo from Wikimedia of this beautiful species. The stock in my colony is more consistently purple.