New Zealand’s (formerly) abundant forests and temperate climate led to quite a diverse range of animals inhabiting it. Many of these are quite archaic in form, dating back to when NZ was part of Gondwanaland. Leaf-litter is also moist with fairly buffered temperatures, and this stability in environment had led to the preservation of such archaic arthropods.

The abundance of life in our leaf-litter also supports the evolution of various predators. The arachnids are of course, one of the major source of predators in the litter. These include our spiders, harvestmen, pseudoscorpions and mites.

Taking photos of such tiny creatures is always a bit of a challenge, but here are a couple of representatives.

Stout-Legged Harvestman

Feathered Mite

In both shots, I’m relying upon a ringflash to distribute soft light evenly about the subjects.