Monday, 3 May 2010

Life on a Brain Fungus

Mites and Springtails on Tremella fuciformis

Yesterday I took a photo of a jelly fungus on a rotting log up in the backyard. Then I noticed that what I thought were specks of dirt were in fact little mites, apparently feeding on the fungus. I tried for some close up shots but the detail is lacking. However you can see they have a shield like process at what, for simplicity, we'll call the shoulder. From what little I can find on the subject, these seem to belong to the family Galumnidae.

It wasn't until I looked at the first photos that I noticed other tiny creatures crawling around. These turned out to be tiny Poduromorph springtails. Having placed some in a container I witnessed one jump at least 5 cm. Quite a feat for an animal a mere 1.8 mm in length.

(Click on photos to enlarge)
White Brain Fungus - Tremella fuciformis
(You can see the mites and springtails more clearly on the larger image)

A Springtail - Order: Poduromorpha - less than 2mm long

Galumnid Mite just over 1 mm long

You can just make out the shield like process at the right shoulder.


  1. Hi Mosura
    you have really excelled yourself with those images, especially the Mites.
    Well done, and you have a name for them!