It sure was a beautiful day. However most of my day was inside except to walk Gracie. Indeed, the inside work on a lichen seemed to occupy my day. However with my lichen work, a true microscopic treasure was found!

First part of my day was trying to ID this lichen that I had collected on Tuesday.

A close view of the above lichen. Indeed, progress was being made. Chemical tests done on thallus…check. Next a close look at the spores was on my check list. FYI, I believe it was an Lecanora species.

This is my photo of the treasure. Immediately it stopped me in my tracks. Doesn’t look like much here, eh. No chemicals had been added at this point, just water. It would not have fared well for this guy with chemicals.

This is the back end with its measurements. So it was almost 250 microns long or about 1/4 of a millimeter.

Maybe this shot will help? It has eight legs.

OMG, my first tardigrade found on a lichen!

I added more water for it. And it moved even more. I was so thrilled to finally find one. In 1777, the Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani named them Tardigrada which means “slow steppers”. After watching this one, I would disagree with that assessment LOL. Its little legs were going fast. Indeed, if I stepped away for a moment, it would be gone like a turtle. To sum it up, OMG!

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


    1. After I found it, I watched it in amazement for an hour and then it was time for lunch LOL. Gracie missed her before-lunch walk. I will keep it for awhile. It can go months/years without food or water I read.

  1. OMG! I’m absolutely fascinated by tardigrades! So cool! Re: the lichen – I hope its common name is Craters of the Moon lichen.

    1. I like your common name! However, most lichens do not have common names. In fact, it has only been in recent years, that people have been attaching common names to the lichens. So that being said, your suggestion is great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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