FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Pretty in Pink a new springtail for the United Kingdom

A wonderful new invertebrate discovery has recently been made, by former FSC colleague Pete Boardman and we couldn’t be more excited.

Pete discovered a tiny pink-bodied invertebrate under a rotting tree stump in his Shropshire garden early in January. He realised it was a springtail (Collembola) and sought help from Peter Shaw, who runs the Collembolla Recording Scheme to identify it more precisely.

https://invertchallenge365.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/bilobella.jpghttps://invertchallenge365.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/bark-and-log.jpg?w=245&h=300

Peter eventually confirmed the “pinkie” to be Bilobella braunerae Deharveng, 1981, a species not recorded in the United Kingdom before.  This is a fascinating discovery, and great news for Pete, who led our recent Invertebrate Challenge and Biodiversity Fellowship projects.  It really highlights how wonderful and rich our biodiversity is here in the UK.  

As Pete’s new find was literally in his own back garden it also shows the importance of us getting out there and regularly investigating favourite spots, as you never know what you might come across next time!

Pete commented: “Presumably my humble and hardly prime springtail habitat is not alone in offering accommodation to this lovely pink beast? There must be colonies of them out there awaiting discovery by willing eyes.  I must thank Peter Shaw for identifying the mystery beast and would implore people to have a look at any springtails they come across as they are quite beautiful creatures that play a vital role in the health of our soil biodiversity.

To read more about Pete Boardmans discovery follow the link to his blog.

If you are interested in "pinkies" or any other springtails purchase our A key to the Collembola (Springtails) of Britain and Ireland AIDGAP. Prices have been reduced from £22.00 to £18.50 until end of February. Follow the link for to puchare or for more details.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015