This past weekend, we (Erika and myself) escaped grad student work at Berkeley to go camping in the Los Padres National Forest in the hills east of Big Sur. We stayed in the Arroyo Seco area, which you reach by driving south of Monterey through wine country, and then cutting west into the forest.
On Saturday, we sampled at the Arroyo Seco creek and found some astonishing life forms, as always. Here is an image of our sampling location:
We used some of the new tools in the Foldscope deluxe kit, especially the PVC depression slides for trapping swimming aquatic organisms. Here is a “macro” picture of such an organism in the PVC cut-out before adding the coverslip on top:
Using the zoom on my phone you can make out very rough detail of the bugger inside the drop:
I then sealed the PVC coverslip over the top to trap him inside. Unfortunately, the PVC cut-out is only 0.15 millimeters thick, and the organism must have been thicker than that, as it was squished and killed when the coverslip was put on. You can still make out pretty good anatomical, even if the physiology is a bit, well, dead. There are three hairy structures coming out of the tail end of the creature. At first I thought this might be a mosquito larvae, but online searching doesn’t seem to corroborate this. As always, any ideas are much appreciated.
Here is another video with more detail:
But perhaps even more interestingly than the squished bugger above, I found a pair of very alive creatures that I also am unable to identify. Their overall morphology appeared the same, but one was totally static and appeared to be carrying two green eggs, while the slightly smaller one was quite motile and egg-less.
Any help identifying these creatures would be tremendously appreciated! If it helps, here is another short clip of the motile one flexing its tail/leg!
As always, thanks for watching and exploring with me!