2/25/2021: Blue springtails buoyant in a bin
The color blue in living things has a very flexible definition. There are “blue” rabbits, “blue” flowers, and “blue” cats, but the true distribution of definitively blue coloration is rather sporadic and quirky (off the top of my head, the cheeks of silkie chickens, many reptiles, iridoviruses, and a fair number of fish).
While checking one of my leaf aging vats, for some reason I opened the bin with my headlamp on and was met by a shimmer of blue on the surface. While the leaves are submerged in water inches below the surface, the top of the water was alive with thousands of blue springtails.
Are these bugs really blue? It’s possible the refraction of light from the headlamp illuminated them just-so to cast a hypnotically blue sheen, and closer examination suggests the tubercles and setae on their bodies create the effect instead of pigment being responsible, but nonetheless they appear definitively bluer than what many people consider to be blue springtails nowadays.
My time left before the trip is short so I won’t be setting them up in a smaller culture until afterwards, I’m sure they’ll be fine in my absence as they have been for months before I knew they existed!