133/150: Arctic Isopods – Cold and Calculated

Animalia: Arthropoda: Malacostraca: Isopoda: Arcturidae: Arcturus baffini (Sabine, 1824)

Arctic isopods are unique crustaceans living in the Arctic Ocean, with over 50 species. Most are small, ranging from 0.5-1.5 cm in length, but some, like Arcturus baffini, can grow beyond 10 cm! Making them large organisms in a cold environment. These isopods are poor swimmers, instead they crawl along the ocean floor with their legs. Most are scavengers while others are known to be parasitic. They often burrow in sediments creating small underwater tunnels. Most immature arctic isopods are held in a specialized chamber in their mother until they are developed enough to leave. The immature Arcturus baffini are different in that they will hold onto their mother’s antennae until they reach maturity. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen HLC-26100–Resolute Nunavut, Canada – 01-Jan-2000. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Illustration of Arcturus baffini. Photo Credit: Taina Litwak goo.gl/p5PtLd
Arcturus baffini with its large feeling antennae extended. Photo Credit: Kathy Conlan goo.gl/Ku8CNk

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: NNMC238-08

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Arctic isopod

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAJ7844

88/150: Whale, hello there Belugas!

Animalia: Chordata: Mammalia: Artiodactyla: Cetacea: Monodontidae: Delphinapterus: Delphinapterus leucas (Pallas, 1776)

The beluga whale is an enigmatic species well known to the Canadian Arctic. It is also known as a sea canary because of its high-pitched chirping and can grow up to 20 ft in length and weigh more than a ton! Continue reading “88/150: Whale, hello there Belugas!”

87/150: Richardson’s Collared Lemming – an endemic mammal to Canada

Animalia: Chordata: Mammalia: Rodentia: Cricetidae: Dicrostonyx: Dicrostonyx richardsoni (Merriam, 1900)

There are only a few mammals endemic to Canada and one of them is the Richardson’s Collared Lemming. This adorable little rodent is found in the Arctic, west of Hudson Bay and was named after Sir John Richardson, a Scottish naturalist who explored the Canadian Arctic. Continue reading “87/150: Richardson’s Collared Lemming – an endemic mammal to Canada”

The Great White North!

Sorting through the samples from Canadian National Parks has begun and this year our focus was on remote National Parks. Getting our traps to Parks Canada staff in remote locations was an interesting challenge. Continue reading “The Great White North!”