Given their size, the location of the thick mat described and the recent rain I guessed immediately that they were springtails having written about them in this blog last year. I didn't expect I would be able to identify them at this time but put them under the microscope anyway.
Even with my modest instrument I was able to identify them as springtails. Identifying the species is way beyond me and even most entomologists* but I was intrigued by the bright iridescent blue-green color they exhibited when lit from the side.
|Springtails clustered on stone- Georgia P.|
After that introduction, I dare you to skip The Incredible Springtail.
2017 Linda Bower's video of a water Springtail feeding if a fun view.
* An exceptional entomologist who described many springtail species was John Lubbock who wrote this classic monograph in 1873, now available free on Google Play. He did this while being a successful British banker, MP, philanthropist, biologist, establishing archaeology as a scientific discipline, and influencing nineteenth-century debates concerning evolutionary theory. He wrote books on hymenoptera and other scientific subjects. He sired six children, although how he found the time hasn't been recorded. Thanks Chris.