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.



2 comments:

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

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