18/150: A fungus beetle known for using its head

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Bolitotherus: Bolitotherus cornutus (Panzer, 1794)

Male Bolitotherus cornutus, commonly known as the Forked Fungus beetle, have fork-like horns in which they use to compete for mates. Those with bigger horns have better success at prying rivals off of their prized females. Continue reading “18/150: A fungus beetle known for using its head”

11/150: Damned by the dam-The Cobblestone Tiger Beetle

Arthropoda: Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae: Cicindela: Cicindela marginipennis (DeJean, 1831)

Cobblestone tiger beetles (Cicindela marginipennis) live in small, divided communities in North America, and are endangered in Canada, with an estimated 5,000 individuals remaining. These beetles live in only two areas along the Saint John River in New Brunswick, as they need specialized river habitats with large tree covered islands and sprawling cobblestone beaches to thrive. Continue reading “11/150: Damned by the dam-The Cobblestone Tiger Beetle”

1/150: These Fireflies are Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Coleoptera: Lampyridae: Photuris quadrifulgens (Barber, 1951)

Photuris quadrifulgens is a species in the beetle family Lampyridae, commonly known as the fireflies. This species belongs to the femme fatale lightning bugs that produce light flashes from lantern organs on their abdomen. Continue reading “1/150: These Fireflies are Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”

Beetles, Bees, and… Beef?

Back in October, BIO sent out teams to three different museums to collect specimens.  Both Connor and Angela have already outlined the details of their trips, so now it’s my turn! Valerie Levesque-Beaudin and I drove up to Montreal (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue specifically) to visit the Lyman Entomological Museum and Research Laboratory on the Macdonald Campus of McGill University. Continue reading “Beetles, Bees, and… Beef?”

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”