Archive for March 2023

Moose Hill Mass Audubon, vernal pools and boardwalk   Leave a comment

First set of photos at the vernal pool; then photos from the boardwalk.

Very happy with the fairy shrimp photos from the vernal pool, those creatures are so picturesque!

As an introduction for anyone encountering them for the first time: fairy shrimp are freshwater crustaceans. They are obligate dwellers of vernal pools — they are found nowhere else. They tend to swim upside down, and they have some very nice wavy appendages that are used for swimming and for wafting food to their mouthparts. I have photos of the mouthparts, which is something I haven’t done before, and also some extremely shaky video.

I believe these are fatty globules rather than eggs, but am not sure.

I’m sharing multiple edits of this photo, as it was a challenge. It’s a tough photo to process, getting the globules to look good while at the same time bringing out detail in the rest of the shrimp wasn’t easy. In addition, there’s plenty of noise and at the same time lots of subtle detail, so tough to balance those two issues. What do you think?

The first two were processed in GIMP using the curves feature.

Adding a couple of my RawTherapee edits of the same photo so I can stare at them and compare.

A view down the feeding maw:

Sorry this is so shaky. It’s not easy, you know!

Collembola on the surface:

And another:


And another. You can see why they are known as “cyclops”, they look like they have one eye.

Chironomid midge larva writhing around:

I was recording a midge to show its writhing behavior, when a fairy shrimp photobombed. It was that kind of day.

Ostracods, so many of them:

I don’t know what this is. EDIT: perhaps Psychodidae larvae (“drain fly”)

And I have no idea what I’m looking at here. EDIT: probably Atherix, which would make it the first sighting in Massachusetts for the genus (as always, I actually mean the first record in BugGuide and iNaturalist). These are gill-like terminal appendages. I saw the rest of the creature, and it does look like Atherix larvae, but couldn’t get a photo.

Some photos without exoskeletons now.

What a cluster of bubbles looks like under the lights of the lens:

Posted 2023-03-11 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized