First shot with Foldscope

imageI’m not sure what this is, but it seems like an arthropod. While I was waiting my Foldscope to arrive to Argentina, I prepared a small pond water container with some decaying algae, copepods and water fleas.

The first image is a stalk of 3 pictures taken with the Foldscope. The creature shown was less than half a millimeter. The second picture is the same animal shot with a regular macro lens for smartphone.


I would be very happy if anyone has a guess what this little guy is! It’ll make my day 😀.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu says:

    By just posting this data here; you made our day. This is kind of like a forensics work; but let’s start with some basics. It appears to me that the organism is dead (is that correct). I clearly see two compound eyes at the bottom; and the three holes in a series could potentially be the socket where the legs go.

    If that was the case; this might be an insect of some kind. Now the geometry is what puzzles me the most; since the body structure is so “alien” i very very short segments with almost no differentiation of what about be a typical head, thorax and abdomen.

    I will let others take a look; while I look for insects with suppressed thorax-abdomen joint.

    Can I say, what a wonderful way to join the Foldscope community. Welcome!!!


  2. Manu Prakash says:

    I was almost ready to put my money on the fact that this could be a mite; but now I realize; most of them do not have a complex compound eye..

    Still a mystery 🙂


  3. laksiyer says:

    No idea, but I hope you find a live version; if it is living. The focus is perfect. Looking forward to seeing more from you.

  4. javiercanteros says:

    Thank you very much Manu for your warm welcome! And also thank you laksiyer for your comment. It’s an honor to receive your both replies.

    I was guessing this could be, not an actually dead insect, but an exuvia, a shed from some molted insect. Mites are out of the game for –as you mention– not having complex compound eyes and for having four pairs of legs (in the image there’s only six holes).

    After posting these pictures in my instagram account ( I received a comment in the same direction of my guess. Let me quote:
    “Looks like a shed from an arthropod – it’s got six holes about where legs should go, so probably an insect. The front look a little strange, but it kinda screams true bug. Perhaps a first instar creeping water bug (Naucoridae)?”

    Actually, the body structure of creeping water bugs (pic: more or less matches this pattern of low differentiation between head-thorax-abdomen. And if you look carefully, there is a “T” shaped rip in the base of the abdomen where the insect could have emerged through.

    I have also posted a video of the “thing” in YouTube in case you want to check it out:

    All the best!

  5. laksiyer says:

    Great detective work!

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