What are these?

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

Moderators: rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S., Pau

JMak
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:38 pm
Location: United Kingdom

What are these?

Post by JMak »

Hi, I am growing some plants indoors and found these insects all over the soil, they are about 1mm or less in size. I think they might be eating the plants, but I want to know if anyone can identify them. The last one looks different to the others. Are they a threat to the plants?

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Craig Gerard
Posts: 2877
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 1:51 am
Location: Australia

Post by Craig Gerard »

Nice SEM images!

Is the creature red in colouration?
Looks like a European Red Mite...
http://www.bitterrootrestoration.com/co ... -mite.html

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=5699

If that is what your guests happen to be, I wouldn't be too concerned. They don't have a voracious or destructive appetite (unlike their cousins Tetranychus urticae the two-spotted mite).



Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

Charles Krebs
Posts: 5865
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:02 pm
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
Contact:

Post by Charles Krebs »

Possibly springtails (Collembola)? .... looks like you can see furcula, especially in images 7 and 8.

If so, they eat decaying plant material, and I don't think are a threat to any garden plants.

Planapo
Posts: 1585
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:33 am
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Post by Planapo »

I'm not sure what is pictured in the first photo, but possibly it's a mite, judging from the foot appendages.

But with all the other photos I agree with Charles that they do show Collembola.
Some Collembola can feed on green living plants and few can become agricultural pests, e. g. Sminthurides viridis is known as a pest on alfalfa.

--Betty

JMak
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:38 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Post by JMak »

Thank you for the replies! I think you are right about them being collembola. The colour varies between soil-brown and yellowish/pale brown. I found some more information here: http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/mi ... bola1.html

I haven't seen them on the leaves of the plants, only in the soil, so hopefully they are just eating the decaying plant matter and not the roots. I don't know how they got there - they are only present in one of the plant pots.

Edit - I think this might be the one -
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/ ... elidae.htm

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic