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Collembola

Discussion in 'Pets and Wildlife' started by JohnsonS, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. JohnsonS

    JohnsonS Active Member

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    I'm sure most of you here are familiar with Collembola - though, perhaps not by that name. They are often referred to as "springtails" due to an appendage called the furcula which is located ventrally on the animal's body that allows them to spring into the air when they feel they are in danger. Most likely you have them running around your greenhouse or even in the soil of your favorite potted houseplant.

    Fall is a great time to find them in the Pacific Northwest as they prefer humid conditions and tend to live amongst the freshly fallen leaves that make up the leaf litter in forests or even in your own yard. Most are very small - 1-2mm is typical and sometimes even smaller than that! Occasionally, you might find larger ones - such as the species pictured in the first photo below (this one was +6.5mm long!). This makes photographing them difficult, but also very rewarding in my opinion.

    Here are a few recent photos I've taken of these interesting creatures:


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    I recently acquired a new lens to play around with that gives me greater magnification - these photos are taken at just under 6:1 reproduction (a "typical" macro lens or "true" macro lens usually has a magnification reproduction ratio of 1:1!):

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    rico, Kipper, jai and 1 other person like this.
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Those are amazing photos of tiny insects. It looks like you have mastered your new lens. Congratulations.
     
  3. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    The one in the fourth photo looks really sad....
     
  4. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Wow, these are amazing photos, Shaun! 3rd and 4th are especially nice. Did you get Canon MP-E? Or did you get a lens + bellows?
     
  5. JohnsonS

    JohnsonS Active Member

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    Thank you, naoki! No, I shoot with a Nikon. The "new" lens is an older Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AI reversed on 85mm of extension tubes (previous lens for Collembola photos was an old 35mm f/2.8 Non-AI lens reversed on the same extension tubes).
     
  6. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    That's cool! I should try it. I already have the gear (including 35/2.8 Ai), but I haven't played with them too much.
     
  7. Annabellam

    Annabellam New Member

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    Wow! Those photos are amazing!
     
  8. leo

    leo African orchids only :-)

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    Wow, stunning pictures! Thanks for the foto gear tip!
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the wonderful view of a small world.
     
  10. CoveLady

    CoveLady Active Member

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    Kipper, that 4th picture might be sad because his hair spikes are orange instead of like the rest. It doesn't pay to be different in the insect world, you are too visible to the predators. I rather like him, his orange is neat.

    JohnsonS, your pictures are great, that used to be my area, using my macro and or tubes to capture very tiny whatevers. Love it!
     
  11. MmeRose

    MmeRose Member

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    They are kind of cute! I hope they aren't harmful to plants.