Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kinnelon Little Critter File -- What Are They???

This spring at Emma's bus stop, actually in the the culvert pool next to the stop, which feeds the bog and the stream that runs along Sleepy Hollow, we found an odd orange swarming mass of some type of, well, larvae, I guess.

Kinnelon Little Critter File - Farthest Away
Farthest Away

Kinnelon Little Critter File - Medium distance
Medium distance

Kinnelon Little Critter File - Close-up

At first we all thought they were rust, or brick dust, because of the bright color, but we could see on closer examination that they had legs and were moving, and actively. Their bodies were elongated and perhaps 1/8" or a little longer, with waving appendages.

They remained for about 5 days or so at the bottom of that pool and then dwindled rapidly over the course of a couple of days, finally to disappear.

What are they???

If they hadn't been somewhat sausage-like, I might have thought they were water mites, and if they had been a little more elongated I might think them to be midge larvae, which can both be orange, small, and present in the spring water runoff. But now, we do not know.

Does anyone?

They are pretty cool, though, and I'm sorry I did not scoop some up into a jar and take a look under a microscope. I did mean to. Ah, well ...

Yours in curiosity,

Ted and Emma

Photo Credit: Grace Mougalian

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