More than Snails

Banff’s Thermal Springs – More than Just Snails

The thermal springs on Sulphur Mountain are home to more than just the Banff Spring Snail. Over the years, scientists have identified other invertebrates as well as plants that call the Banff springs home. Here are a few of these organisms.

An adult Soldier Fly (Family Stratiomyidae).

An adult Soldier Fly (Family Stratiomyidae).

A group of Soldier Fly (Family Stratiomyidae) larvae. These larvae may be competitors with Banff Spring Snails for food.

A group of Soldier Fly (Family Stratiomyidae) larvae. These larvae may be competitors with Banff Spring Snails for food.

An adult Vivid Dancer damselfly (Argia vivida). In Alberta, this species is at the northern edge of its range and only found in Alberta at the thermal springs in Banff. It is also found near springs in British Columbia. The Arthropods Species Specialist Subcommittee of COSEWIC lists this species in the highest category of species yet to be assessed.

An adult Vivid Dancer damselfly (Argia vivida). In Alberta, this species is at the northern edge of its range and only found in Alberta at the thermal springs in Banff. It is also found near springs in British Columbia. The Arthropods Species Specialist Subcommittee of COSEWIC lists this species in the highest category of species yet to be assessed.

A nymph of the Vivid Dancer damselfly (Argia vivida). There seems to be a coating of microbial growth on this individual.

A nymph of the Vivid Dancer damselfly (Argia vivida). There seems to be a coating of microbial growth on this individual.

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A Rat-tailed maggot larva (Family Syrphidae, flower flies) in the Basin Spring pool. It breathes atmospheric air through its long tubular tail.

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Water droplets on mosses found in the splash zone along a thermal spring outflow stream. A number of rare mosses and bryophytes are found at Banff’s thermal springs.

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