19 June 2011

A minuscule arthropod

The other day while searching for snail shells in fine gravel I had brought home from a beach, I noticed a white speck moving rapidly among the sand grains. It appeared smaller than the period at the end of a sentence. Despite its high speed, relative to its size, it went only a short distance, relative to my size, before it hid itself under a sand grain. That made it easy to relocate it by getting it to move again by touching a few grains.

Here are the pictures of it I took before I lost it for good.

I suspect it was a mite of some sort. Its body was about 0.25 mm long (the ruler division next to it was 1 mm long).


gillesarbour said...

Wow! this is a really small beast! It reminds me of a time when I was looking at Tiger Moth eggs under a microscope and a small insect about 1/10th of one egg's diameter was circling the eggs very rapidly. I read afterward that the smallest insect is 0.14 mm. The one I saw was larger but not by much I think. But I had no opportunity to measure it properly.

thepowmill said...

Amazing that you were able to get a pic... a miniscule , moving subject with a penchant for hiding.

Adorably Dead said...

That's amazing that you were able to spot it! So tiny!