Paula-in-Chi's picture

2013-05-06 67 creatures in puddles

Observed: 6th May 2013 By: Paula-in-ChiPaula-in-Chi’s reputation in Invertebrates
2013-05-06 67 creatures in puddles
2013-05-06 65 near spring point

This is a "puddle" in a field where it hadn't rained for over a week and the rest of the area had dried significantly (with strong winds) since I'd visited a week before. Nearby is an identified spring point (bubbles coming out of the soil - nothing dramatic). In the puddle are some pinhead sized orange creatures and I would love to know what they are (plus the beetle) and anything about the habitat generally and what may be going on here. I've included a landscape shot to show the puddle in context - the grassed horizontal line is the top bank of a small chalk stream towards which the land slopes gently. This area of the otherwise ploughed field obviously gets wetter than the rest (hence churned up by the tractor wheels whereas the rest is ploughed) despite not being particularly low-lying and different vegetation grows here. This is my first post on i-spot - can anyone help, please?

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jonmortin's picture

The orange creatures might be

The orange creatures might be ostracods (seed shrimps): tiny shelled crustaceans found in marine and freshwater habitats. They swim and scuttle about and you sometimes see their little legs poking out from their shells.

Amadan's picture

Might be better -

to change the group to "invertebrates". Some of the specialists on the site use the filter so that they only see their preferred organisms.
Use "Other" only as a last resort.
Having said that, Jon's note may be as close as anyone will get.
Welcome to iSpot, keep posting!

Paula-in-Chi's picture

Thank you!

I had never heard of an ostracod, so this is really exciting. I may try to get a sample, if they're still there (I expect the "puddle" will have changed, as we've now had rain)and find a microscope! Will try to change the group - I'd half expected to find out they were fly larvae or something relatively mundane!

John Bratton's picture

If they are Heterocypris, it

If they are Heterocypris, it doesn't matter if the puddle has dried up. Just take a handful of mud from the deepest part of the puddle and put it in a jar of water. The ostracods will re-appear in a few days.

By the way, as ostracods go, this one is fairly mundane.