Image ID: 10005414
Caption: Cryptopygus antarcticus, Springtail False colour, scanning electron-micrograph, of the Antarctic springtail Cryptopygus antarcticus. Cryptopygus is one of the most successful terrestrial arthropods to have colonised the Antarctic continent. Although only 1-2 mm long and weighing only a few micro-grams, it is one of the largest animals to complete its lifecycle on the Antarctic continent. The springtail, which is actually an iridescent black colour, avoids freezing by accumulating antifreeze compounds. These reduce the freezing point of its body fluids in the same way that antifreeze additives prevent the freezing of water in a car radiator. This enables these tiny animals to survive temperatures below -25C. (Insecta, Collembola)
Keywords: Antarctica | Cryptopygus antarcticus | HQ | Insect | SEM Collembola | Springtail | Terrestrial
Location: SEM at BAS HQ Cambridge
Season: 1999/2000
Photographer: Pete Bucktrout
Image size (pixels): 3189 x 2126