Subject: Thousands of bugs on forest floor
Location: Eatonville, Washington
August 17, 2013 2:17 am
After a long hot dry spell…. Our normal Northwest rain returned for a few days (not unheard of in August in Washington) bringing with it stifling humidity. Living in the foothills of Mt. Rainier on a piece of densely forested land, we often walk the trails on our property… Finding interesting thing along the way.
Initially we thought the purple/gray patch we saw on the forest floor was a ”new” fungus and bent down to take a picture for ID (we often do this)…. Well, upon closer inspection it was not a fungus at all but thousands of little purplish gray ”bugs”. We have never seen them before and have know idea what they could be. I have searched the Internet with no luck. Please Bug man help me ID these little creatures
While we cannot make out any individual insects in your photo, your description indicates that this is most likely a Springtail population explosion. Springtails are benign creatures that feed on decaying organic matter and they are important decomposers in the ecosystem.