Collembola

About

ABOUT | MARIE HUSKENS

Born in Belgium, Marie Huskens is a self-taught macro photographer who has dedicated herself to documenting the life of collembola in Opitter (Belgium) as part of a long-term project.

Collembola are tiny little animals of only a few millimeters in size. Although they are not a well-known group, they are present almost everywhere in nature. They can be found under stones, in flowers, in humus, in ponds or in soil, but also under bark on trees or on grasses.

They are in many aspects similar to insects, but differ in the lack of a hard exoskeleton and wings, in the presence of internal mouthparts and in possessing only a few simple eyes on each side of the head, a collophore and often also a jumping organ located ventrally.

They play an important role in the fertility of the ground and their presence or absence is a good indicator for environmental quality.

biodiversity collembola

Marie Huskens' concern with these fascinating little creatures about whom she cares and is compassionate led her in 2013 to make her garden in Opitter (Belgium) her main area of exploration.

With the help of Frans Janssens, Marie has been able to identify and categorize most species she has taken pictures of. Frans Janssens has also given her a lot of good advice on where and how to find collembola.

Meanwhile, she has photographed over 60 different species for this project and her online archive continues to grow steadily.

She focuses on detail by means of a technique called "stacking" and her photos are often noticed for the power of their bright colors. In her work, which consists mainly of photographs and an occasional video, she seeks to uncover new behavioral patterns in collembola, whose world remains largely hidden from the human eye.

Through this website and her Flickr account she wishes to share her discoveries with you. Enjoy.