|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Some insects can indeed survive in the snow. Some in fact are even active on the surface of snow. These include snow "fleas" (really Collembola or springtails in the family Hypogastruridae) and snow scorpion flies (Mecoptera, family Boreidae). Many of the insects that survive over winter on or under the snow accumulate glycerol, a chemical that acts much like polyethylene glycol, or antifreeze. Others produce chemicals that protect their cells from damage by ice crystal formation and can nearly totally freeze without being injured. When they thaw out in the spring they resume activity as if nothing had happened. References: Berenbaum, M. R. 1995. Bugs in the System. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Reading, Massachusetts. Borror, D. J, C. A. Triplehorn, and Norman F. Johnson. 1989. An Introduction to the Study of Insects. Saunders Publishing Co., Philadelphia.
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