- Written by Administrator
- Category: Insects
- Published: 08 November 2010
There are a few hundred kinds of springtails recorded from the UK but we do not even know of an educated guess for the numbers of different kinds currently living in the soil under our feet in Badenoch and Strathspey. As with much of the biodiversity around us there is a lot to learn.
Famously in August 2009 BSCG member Tim Ransom found the first member of the species of springtail Bourletiella viridescens for Britain. For those not seeking to aspire to add a new kind of creature to the British list but simply developing an interest in macro-photography, springtails provide an interesting challenge and are still around in the soil in winter.
This winter a few members are starting work on a preliminary key to the identification of our local springtails. Needless to say Tim described by the Scotsman as an “eagle-eyed expert” is the enthusiast behind this project on these little and also little appreciated creatures. His experience that includes producing another such local key will be invaluable.
Bourletiella viridescens has not been rediscovered on Cairn Gorm this year and unfortunately some specialists, who had hoped to come and look for it and other species on Cairn Gorm, failed to raise the funding they needed to visit. The iconic local springtail has however been adopted as the logo for a popular and widely distributed newsletter about Invertebrates in Scotland the second edition of which is now available as a pdf from Buglife Scotland.
Now that we have started looking hopefully we can add to understanding about the very little explored biodiversity of springtails we have. We can expect there to be more kinds in our district waiting to be recorded and who knows what interesting new discoveries? All springtail photos will be gratefully received and If you are interesting in becoming involved in the springtail (Collembola) spotting project don’t hesitate to phone 01479 821 491.
The now relatively famous Bourletiella viridescens, blown up to look much larger than 1mm, from an article shortly after the unexpected discovery published in Sepetember 2009 in the Scotsman newspaper.