As attractive and colourful as this pea family member may be, the silky lupine holds its own dark secrets. Native to Manitoba and British Columbia in Western Canada, this stunning plant has been discovered to produce toxic alkaloids known to cause adverse consequences and even death to its consumers, which are typically domesticated livestock such as sheep, goats and cattle. Symptoms such as nausea, convulsions and lethargy have been noted in the afflicted animals. Nevertheless, certain animals such as deer and birds have been observed to consume this plant with no issue. Even species such as hummingbirds and honey bees have been known to frequent these flowers for they are full of nectar! Not too bad! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150
Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species: BBYUK1091-12
Have you ever wondered what the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly was? Well you’ve come to the right place! First things first, both dragons and damsels make up an ancient order of insects called Odonata. They originated at least 300 million years ago and have changed very little in body design since then. The main difference between dragonflies and damselflies is that dragonflies are larger bodied, highly proficient fliers, and hold their wings horizontally like an airplane while at rest. Damselflies are more slender and weaker fliers and hold their wings together behind their body when perched.
Now to zero in a bit on one particular group of damselflies: the Pond Damselflies. Pond damselflies (Coenagrionidae) are the most diverse group of damsels in the world. In Ontario alone there are 34 species of pond damsels! Most of these species are Bluets (genus Enallagma). As you might have guessed from the name, these damselflies are distinguishable from other damselfly genera in that they are generally blue in colour. Bluets are commonly associated with permanent bodies of water, as they lay their eggs in ponds and lakes and overwinter as aquatic larvae. As adults, damsels feed on spiders and other small invertebrates by flying close to vegetation and scooping their prey up from plant leaves. During mating season, males search for a female partner. Upon finding one, the male clasps the female by her neck while she bends her body around to his reproductive organs. This distinctive posture is called the “heart” or “wheel” position. The female then deposits her fertilized eggs into water. Damselfly mating is precisely choreographed and gives a whole new meaning to “sex aerobics”. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150
Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species: