top of page
Search

Slime mould and a giant Tasmanian Springtail


Tasmania’s giant blue springtail Acanthanura sp.  (dendyi?) feeding on Trichia verrucosa slime mould in southern Tasmania
Tasmania’s giant blue springtail Acanthanura sp. (dendyi?) feeding on Trichia verrucosa slime mould in southern Tasmania

On Sunday the 6th of November, I decided to go and see if I could find any slime moulds out in the back forest, as the weather had recently become quite moist and warm, after weeks of unseasonal lurking cold, weather.


As luck would have it, I quickly came across a large old rotting log with not one, but four slime moulds all shouting for my camera's attention! This wonderful surprise was of course entirely consuming, as I set up my camera and excited started taking photos.



Lycogala epidendrum and Trichia species Slime moulds on a rotting log, Tasmania.
Lycogala epidendrum and Trichia species Slime moulds on a rotting log, Tasmania.


After taking a number of photos of the almost fluorescent bright orange Wolf's Milk Slime mould, I quickly moved onto investigating the amazing display of fresh, creamy white Trichia verrucosa slime mould nearby.


It wasn't for some time until having a quick look through what photos I'd taken so far, that I realised, the giant monster that had been photobombing my slime mould! This gorgeous blue and yellow giant was caught crawling towards the white slime mould's sporocarps where it then was quite still for minutes at a time feeding and luckily quite oblivious to my obvious presence.


This wonderful visitor is one of Tasmania’s giant blue springtails - an Acanthanura sp. which I think might be Acanthanura dendyi, which feeds exclusively on slime moulds.

According to Andy Murray (see his wonderful website A Chaos of Delight ) Australian giant springtails have only ever been described from Tasmania. Here in Tasmania, there are at least six species of giant springtails across three genera: Acanthanura, Megalanura and Womersleymeria.


This movie footage includes Acanthanura sp. feeding on slime mould and some other critters as well! Approximately 5mins watch.






Comments


bottom of page