every spring and late winter i have seen these little critters in puddles in my drive way. My harddrive recently crashed so i dont have digital pictures from my microscope again yet, but here is my description: they are about the size of the head of a needle, bright and dark purple, sometimes black, they are segmented, have six legs with a ball at the end of each (presumably suction cups) and two anntenae with lumps on the end. they float on surface tension in puddles and appear with no sign of how they got there.

They float around in groups ranging from solos (rarely unless hopping from one group to another, they can hop about 2 1/2 inches) to around 4,000. they appear to shed, or have clear dead ones with them, there are also large grey-speckled long ones that seem to crawl over the rest. This is all the info i have, i tried to keep them alive in my house, they died in about a week. They need water and each other to survive, if strewn apart, they find their way back to one another and stick together until the water dries up and they presumably die.

I have not found anything remotly like them in my north american audobon book for insects, and i forgot, now i am, mentioning, im in southern california, Ventura county. This is all the info i have on these little buggers, if the matter needs to be persued, i will be glad to hook up my microscope and catch some of them before the water dries up. Thanks for your help,
HL
They might be springtails. Do a Google on springtail and see if the pictures look like what you've got.
Luke

To email me, take out the trash.
They might be springtails. Do a Google on springtail and see if the pictures look like what you've got. Luke

waterskippers?
They might be springtails. Do a Google on springtail and see if the pictures look like what you've got.

waterskippers?

Someone mind reposting the original post for me? Emotion: smile

fr0glet

"You cannot be an objective scientist if you have an agenda." ~The Madman
every spring and late winter i have seen these little critters in puddles in my drive way. My harddrive recently crashed so i dont have digital pictures from my microscope again yet, but here is my description: they are about the size of the head of a needle, bright and dark purple, sometimes black, they are segmented, have six legs with a ball at the end of each (presumably suction cups) and two anntenae with lumps on the end. they float on surface tension in puddles and appear with no sign of how they got there.

They float around in groups ranging from solos (rarely unless hopping from one group to another, they can hop about 2 1/2 inches) to around 4,000. they appear to shed, or have clear dead ones with them, there are also large grey-speckled long ones that seem to crawl over the rest. This is all the info i have, i tried to keep them alive in my house, they died in about a week. They need water and each other to survive, if strewn apart, they find their way back to one another and stick together until the water dries up and they presumably die.

I have not found anything remotly like them in my north american audobon book for insects, and i forgot, now i am, mentioning, im in southern california, Ventura county. This is all the info i have on these little buggers, if the matter needs to be persued, i will be glad to hook up my microscope and catch some of them before the water dries up. Thanks for your help,
HL
I couldn't guess what they are, but there's plenty of "Bug ID" expertise over at sci.bio.entomology.misc
HTH.
every spring and late winter i have seen these little critters in puddles in my drive way. My harddrive recently ... to hook up my microscope and catch some of them before the water dries up. Thanks for your help, HL

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