Using this photo and referring to it is encouraged, and please use it in presentations, web pages, newspapers, blogs and reports.
For any form of publication, please include th link to this page and give the photographer credit (in this case Peter Prokosch)
Red Snow with Red Pharlaropes, Svalbard
Red snow, also called snow algae, watermelon snow, or blood snow, is snow that is reddish or pink in color, with the slight scent of a fresh watermelon. Red snow is caused by the presence mainly of Chlamydomonas nivalis, a species of green algae containing a secondary red carotenoid pigment (astaxanthin) in addition to chlorophyll. Unlike most species of fresh-water algae, it is cryophilic (cold-loving) and thrives in freezing water. Here two similar red colored female Red Phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicarius) have placed themselves in front of the red snow cliff in the North of Svalbard. The red phalarope breeds in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. It is migratory, and, unusually for a wader, migrating mainly on oceanic routes and wintering at sea on tropical oceans. The females are more colorful than the males. After they have laid their 4 eggs in a nest on a grassy tundra spot, they leave the entire breeding and chick-raising to their males.