Micro habitat

Do you remember Horton the Elephant? I have always loved that story by Dr. Seuss! Horton tries to save a small world that no one can see or hear in the book titled “Horton Hears a Who”. When I peer through the microscope, I think of Horton and the scientists that are doing the same. Indeed it is a remarkable world that is just beyond our macro vision! So now, I feel a bond with Horton every time I peer through the microscope.

I brought home a piece of this hairy brown shelf fungus. Do you see the tiny red specks?

Of course, I wondered what the red specks were and brought them home to examine closer.

At 30X, I found the larva were even more beautiful!

Some had black tails, black heads and black antennas.

This red one had whitish limbs. I wondered if it was at a different stage in the larva life cycle? All the red larvae were about 2 or 3 mm in length.

Then this other critter scurried by. Since it was flying by at fast rate, it was hard to catch in focus. Does it remind you of a loaf of bread?

As I examined more of the shelf fungus, I found slime mold too! A whitish one and yellowish one side by side. This also could be the same slime mold at different stages.

I am not certain if it is a blue green slime mold. Of course it is time for a closer look!

I did not see any hypha. With that I will go with slime mold. What’s more these spores are some of the tiniest I have seen!

It seems I run across these critters on the lichens, mosses, and fungi I often collect. I am unsure whether or not if they are woodlice. But whatever, they are pretty speedy! And they are quite common in the micro world!

So the next time you see a speck maybe you too will find a new world!

Finally I need to report, the high temp today…101.4 degrees at the Curry Ranch. Therefore I think I can safely say it is hot.

Keep looking!


  1. Ive always wondered bout tiny creatures. Maybe critter looks like roly poly bug? Cant see loaf of bread. Love the break down of an almost invisible world to us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *