#Biodiversity150 number 7 of 150 Snow Fleas

7/150: In the dead of Winter snow fleas emerge

animalia: Arthropoda: Collembola: Poduromorpha: Hypogastruridae: Hypogastrura: Hypogastrura tooliki (Fjellberg, 1985)

Hypogastrura tooliki (Toolik Snow Flea) is part of a group of animals known as snow fleas. These tiny creatures are not fleas at all, they are Collembola or springtails. They use a furcula, a hinge like apparatus to fling themselves into the air, reminding us of jumping fleas. Snow fleas are not affected by the cold as they produce their own anti-freeze, a protein containing glycine, which allows them to be active in the winter. You can usually spot them on sunny winter days around the bases of trees. They are an important part of the soil ecosystem, eating detritus such as fungus and decaying plant material that helps with nutrient recycling. 380 specimens of the genus Hypogastrura have been barcoded so far. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

A cluster of snow fleas in winter. Photo Credit: pverdonk goo.gl/ZRSPxK
A plump body with short legs describes the Order Poduromorpha which Hypogastrura belong to. Photo Credit: Andy Murray goo.gl/zSf9J2

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: CNGCD777-15

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAI2340

Title Image: CHU06-COL-1064 – Churchill, Manitoba – 20-July-2009 – Pitfall Trap
Photo Credit: David Porco

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