113/150: A Wolf Spider Like No Other

Animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Araneae: Lycosidae: Alopecosa: Alopecosa koponeni sp. n. (Sundevall 1833, Simon 1885, and Blagoev & Dondale 2014)

Alopecosa koponeni sp. n. is a new species described in 2014 from the arctic tundra in the vicinity of Churchill, Manitoba! It was discovered by Centre for Biodiversity Genomics resident arachnologist Dr. Gergin Blagoev and Dr. Charles Dondale from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Continue reading “113/150: A Wolf Spider Like No Other”

110/150: Ant-mimicking spiders; One of these things is not like the other!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Araneae: Salticidae: Myrmarachne: Myrmarachne formicaria (De Geer, 1778)

Members of the genus Myrmarachne are commonly referred to as the Ant-mimic spiders and represent some of the best examples of Batesian mimicry in the world. Their cephalothorax is elongated, with a tapered waist that imitates the silhouette of an ant and they will often wave their front legs in the air to resemble ant antennae. Continue reading “110/150: Ant-mimicking spiders; One of these things is not like the other!”

Visiting Victoria

At the end of October, Gerry Blagoev and I flew across the country to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) in Victoria, British Columbia. We were on a quest for specimens! Identified specimens, that is. Most of the time our collections team is busy finding specimens out in the field and preparing them for DNA barcoding. Once they have a sequence, we determine what the taxonomy of our specimen is based on its sequence. But how do we get to the point where we can determine the taxonomy? How do we know this taxonomy is right? By going to the experts! Continue reading “Visiting Victoria”

Spider Ground Control to Arachnid One

Hi everyone,

I just returned from a week of aquatic sampling at Point Pelee National Park and have much to share. The peninsula that is Point Pelee is the most southern part of Canada and it is revered as one of the best spots in North America to observe the spring migration of songbirds. The park itself exists largely due to the efforts of W.E. Saunders who arrived at Point Pelee in 1882 with the intention of duck hunting. Continue reading “Spider Ground Control to Arachnid One”