Need bug ID please
I’ve been doing reptile rescue/rehab for close to 30 years now. I’ve seen every mite, springtail, tick etc there probably is in snake enclosures. However today, I found a film of "dust" floating on the surface (none sank that I could see) of a baby Amazon tree boa’s water bowl. The enclosed photo is of 2 specks of the "dust" at 1600x plus whatever the zoom of my digital camera might have added. I can’t find any good photos of larvae stages of various mite species. Plus it only has 6 legs. The only other "bug" I regularly see in the snake cages other than springtails and occasionally reptile mites is some type of very small fly that dies off when the cages are dry but come back when they stay damp for a few days or when bowels move or when a snake sheds, they stick around till the shed dries. (We lovingly refer to these flies as "shed flies". We use permetherin to kill off mite infestations. Permetherin does not kill these flies …anyway, that’s another topic. What is this little bug the larvae, pupa or adult stage of? Any idea? I observed the one on the right sloughing. It appears the one on the left had already sloughed. I can see them a lot better directly through the microscope than you can see in the photos. Sorry about that. It’s the best I can do with the equipment I have. Thanks
Brett Gardin

Hi Brett,
This is one of the Elongate Bodied Springtails in the suborder Arthropleona. In our humble opinion, this is Podura aquatica, which, according to BugGuide is: “Semi-aquatic. Often found floating on the surface of small bodies of standing water such as ponds, as well as on stream and pond banks.”

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