The mild winter and damp spring was not just good for butterflies. I finished the last bit of processing on the first of my spring soil-invertebrate samples. There were 75 isotomed collembola alone...there were fewer numbers of the other two collembolan groups, and some beetle larvae.
But, 75 of one thing. I had lots of samples - most of them, in fact -that didn't have 75 organisms total.
Also, some of the collembolans were HUGE. I don't know if they are a different species from the small ones or if they are the kind of thing that just keeps growing if something doesn't kill it off. (heh. Global climate change! We'll have collembolans the size of Buicks!)
I had to photograph one of the big ones...it didn't totally fit in the field of view (I had to cut off part of the antenna and the furculum in this photo). It's probably about a millimeter long. I don't know if they're naturally purplish or if this is the effect of the preservative.