Enthusiasm levels are high thanks to a funky orange clover mite (Bryobia spp.), who they found in one of the first sample jars. Clover mites are relatives of spiders and bed bugs, and only females are likely to appear in samples because they reproduce via parthenogenesis, meaning an unfertilised egg can develop into an embryo.
Saumya is interested in how fire history and insect biomass affect the abundance of insect-eating small mammals, like yellow-footed antechinus (Antechinus flavipes). Sadly for the clover mite, she is just a meal (or perhaps a snack) from an antechinus's perspective.
Stay tuned for further updates on cool microscopic critters.