snow creatures

…sometimes you find something unexpected….

With an unusually warm winter here in eastern Ontario, I’ve been on the lookout for snow surface invertebrate activity — and have been finding plenty. Take for instance, the above creature which, no doubt, to many, looks more like an alien space invader than an insect. However, it is the larva of a species of firefly. If you’re curious enough to want to see other or larger views of it, here are a few more photos (top, side, underside).

Of course, I’ve been finding many other creatures, some of which could be considered the “usual suspects” in winter (winter craneflies, springtails, and snow scorpionflies, along with many winter-active spiders). Sometimes, I find things that are a little less expected (isopods, flies, and even a stray ant or two).

But sometimes I come across something unusual and don’t even know it until I unload my camera and see the photos on my monitor. That happened a couple of weeks ago when I had a good look at this very small spider. Turns out that it has some sort of parasitoid attached to its abdomen — probably the larval stage of one of the parasitic flies or wasps that lay eggs on spiders. Something about it reminds of a bizarre switch on the spider-parasites on the humanoid bodies in Edgar Rice Burroughs “John Carter of Mars” series.

If you would like to check out my growing collection of Snow Creatures. drop by here.

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3 Responses to “snow creatures”

  1. Randa Says:

    Hi Bev! I actually checked out this site of yours after I left my comment at Ontario Wanderer. You have a very interesting site!

    I looked around for an email address so I could email you, but I don’t see one (unless I am just missing it). So I’ll leave this message here, and invite me to email me at garden_misgnomer@hotmail, if you wish.

    I loved your mangled mailbox post. We have experienced much the same thing. I could completely relate!

  2. burning silo Says:

    Thanks for dropping by for a visit, Randa. And yes, I guess my email address isn’t anywhere around here. I’ll should probably do something about that. (-:

  3. Laiku Oh Says:

    The raw beauty of fascinating and unusual snow creatures are curious to the average human’s eyes, and there are millions of things to be seen.