Woodhouse & the Barklouse


It’s a dangerous world out there for terrestrial arthropods. This evening as I was walking in the forest a juvenile woodhouse’s toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii) jumped out of the way, and it happened to prop up a leaf with a tiny wolf spider clinging underneath. I usually try to pay attention to the micro-world of arthropods, but I really miss out on all the life under my feet in the leaf litter. The two of them remained frozen like this for about three minutes, and the spider lay just out of the toad’s line of sight. Eventually the toad turned briskly and headed off, out to terrorize other spiders throughout the night.


I also finished building a new diffuser for my macrophotography setup and had some fun watching all the life that moves around in the blossoming fungi after a recent rain.

All toad photos taken after pursuit [3]

Cecidomyiid midge (~2mm body length). Photographed in situ [1]
A translucent barklouse (~1mm) in its mushroom city of crown-tipped coral (Artomyces pyxidatus), a fungus that obligately grows on decaying deciduous wood. Photographed in situ [1]
Photographed in situ [1]

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