|Owl Midge - Psychodidae family|
I did find another really mini-beast though at the weekend. We were cleaning up in our sun lounge which is a nice cool part of the house in the winter and Dad stores vegetables from the allotment for winter. Some of the onions though were now starting to look a bit ropey and there were some aphids on new shoots from some. As we sorted through them to get rid of the bad ones we noticed a few little fluffy flies flitting about. I managed to capture one in a petri dish and got it under my microscope. It's one I can hook up to the PC so I got some nice shots of it. I wasn't sure what it was, Dad's best guess was a whitefly of some form as he gets these sometimes on his vegetables.
|I really like the antennae and fluffly heads|
- The first thing to say is that they are very small, these pictures were taken under a very powerful microscope, it can magnify up to 200x!
- There actual size is just 2 - 4 millimetres! That puts it among the smallest living organisms that I've covered on my blog!
- They're usually only seen from May through to October, but you can tell from the date that this post was put up that we're not in that period yet.
- Well, I was watching an interesting video by a Twitter friend called L.B. Loxley, yes it was about frogs but it was also explaining how our animals are coming out due to the mild Winter.
|A view from below - when you look close you|
can see the compound eye.
- There life span is quite small, like themselves, at only 5 days long, I mean, that seems quite average due to their size really.
- In the owl midge family, there are a huge 2900 species! Only 99 of these live in Britain, though, which is quite an exact number.
- One way to identify them is to look for the very small hairy, pointed wings, which all Owl Midge's have.
- They lay their eggs in stagnant water and in whatever lies in drains and waste pipes, so it seems they don't like the cleanest of places...
|I still tried to get a bugs eye view even though|
it was a true mini-beast
- The larvae then hatch out within a 2 days and feed on the decaying matter for the next two weeks. So Dad's old onions were just right for them!
Here are a few links to some more information:
Hope you enjoyed,