View Full Version : snow fleas

12-09-2002, 17:17
It's winter, and no discussion of winter wildlife is complete without mention of the humble snow flea. Generally seen as tiny moving specks on snow in late winter/early spring. They are actually springtails and can jump so suddenly as to seem to disappear. Since they don't bite or invade your food supply, they have curiosity value only to hikers. So, who has seen them, and when did you first realize that there really are bugs out there in winter? (Maybe this is a pretty lame thread, but we haven't had any excitment on the wildlife forum in awhile.)

12-10-2002, 08:00
Good topic.

I first realized the snow fleas existed when I took a handful of snow from the side of the trail to suck on, and found it hopping with teenty, tiny black specks. Ugh.

12-10-2002, 09:58
Saw them in the Middlesex Fells this weekend. Noticed you were in the Boston area. Thought someone spilled a lot of pepper.


12-10-2002, 14:23
Is this like snipe hunting?:D

12-13-2002, 11:44
Originally posted by mntman777
Is this like snipe hunting?:D

Of course not! But come hiking with me this winter and I'll show you some. Maybe Mahoosuc Notch would be the best place...

06-13-2004, 10:28
I just posted a photo of snow fleas in the wildlife gallery.


This was taken on the AT in Mass. on March 1, 2004. The snow fleas preferred sitting inside footprints (dog in this case) in the snow.

Pencil Pusher
06-13-2004, 18:58
Then there are those off-whitish worms in the snow. Can't really remember how I spotted them other than I was bored and looking at the snow we were melting. I was surpised to see this little worm and figured it was pointless to try and filter them out, given their color and size. Ignorance is bliss with a tiny amount of protein in the water. Though I don't recall seeing those snow fleas. We do get these long streaks of reddish color in the snow though, bacteria or something I had assumed. Who's the entomologist here?