What are these?
Taken today (12/29/07) in SE CT in woodsy area on my daughters swingset. A warmer day where all the snow is melting. Picture is taken with 1:1 macro so very small – couldn’t even tell how many legs with the naked eye. There’s thousands and thousands of them on the swingset on the wood, slides, etc. Thought they were ticks at first and was very worried about Lyme’s disease, but they’re not ticks, right? Know what they are and if they’re harmful? Thanks,
Justin Montgomery

Hi Justin,
We have gotten many images of Springtails to our site, and countless letters, but this is the first photo we have received of Globular Springtails in the suborder Symphypleona. They match images on BugGuide of Dicyrtomina ornata. Springtails can be very numerous, and are more of an annoyance than a threat. Springtails are primitive, minute wingless insects. Most species feed on molds, decaying vegetation and fungus. Some species are found on the surface of the snow and are called Snow Fleas.

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