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.