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Snow Fleas, A Bug That Survives in Winter Snowpiles Due to Antifreeze Adaption


OHIO – Little black speckles on your snow could be a little bug called a snow flea, and they are actually good.

These fleas, aren’t actually fleas at all, they aren’t even classified as insects either. They are actually a hexapods, from the arthropod family more related to crustaceans that insects.

The bug has six legs, and resemble bugs, even more they can jump like normal fleas and that’s how it got its name.

What’s good is the bug doesn’t bite, and they feeds off breaking down material like leaves decaying organic matter in the soil, thus helping it to decay faster, turning it into plant food.

The Hexagon bug is around in the summer time also but you tend not to notice due to its black color that stands out on the snow. Most bugs in the winter go into a suspension mode and awake in warmer temperatures. But this specialized bug has its own type of antifreeze a proteins in its body that rich in amino acid glycine. The Glycine prevents the formation and enlargement of ice crystals allowing the bug to operate in very cold temperatures chomping away on material in your gardens, beside your house, and lawns preparing these organic materials for the spring growth.

So next time you see speckles of black on your snow look down to see one of natures interesting creatures a hexapod.