How is it possible to have lived over 50 years and never heard of "snow fleas"?! Thanks to the 2021 Farmers' Almanac, I now know about something I never knew existed, the snow flea that lives in snow banks and snow around tree trunks. Like me, you've probably been mistaking these little living creatures for flecks of dirt since they are that tiny, like fleas. They aren't fleas at all. They aren't even considered insects but since they resemble fleas so much, that's how they ended up with the moniker.  Snow Fleas, sometimes called "springtails" have six legs and are described as "small wingless creatures classified as hexapods - a subtype of the arthropod family. Despite having six legs researchers say that they are more closely related to crustaceans."

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Now that the winter weather is turning warmer, this can be a great time to spot snow fleas since when snow starts melting off, they can be spotted as dark speckles in the snow. No, that's not dirt! Don't eat that snow kids!

Oh yeah, and did I mention that like actual fleas, snow fleas are great jumpers too? They can do this because of their tail-like body part called a furcula that helps them jump as it unfurls.

Snow fleas are actually pretty cute if you ask me but you won't see them as anything but a speck of dirt unless you bring your magnifying glass outside with you. They are tiny! If you want to see a closeup of these little guys CLICK HERE.

 

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