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”

81/150: This species is just peachy!

Chordata: Ascidiacea: Stolidobranchia: Pyuridae: Halocynthia: Halocynthia pyriformis (Linnaeus)

Sea peaches are part of the class of invertebrates Ascidiacea – known as sea squirts or tunicates. They are more closely related to chordates (animals with a back bone) than other invertebrates because at some point in their life stage they exhibit vertebrate characteristics such as a dorsal hollow nerve cord, a notochord, a post-anal tail, and pharyngeal slits. However they never develop a bony backbone. Continue reading “81/150: This species is just peachy!”

69/150: Leeches – They don’t all want to suck your blood!

Animalia: Annelida: Clitellata: Arhynchobdellida: Erpobdellidae: Erpobdella: Erpobdella obscura (Verrill, 1872)

This past week Canadian Blood Services has been promoting awareness of blood donation with Blood Donor Week. We thought we’d share some info about leeches. On first mention of leeches, many people probably think of Hirudo medicinalis, the medicinal leech. But this is only one of almost 700 different species of leeches. Continue reading “69/150: Leeches – They don’t all want to suck your blood!”

DNA barcoding and Malaise traps capture the remarkable diversity in Canada’s National Parks

Hi everyone!

As some of you may know, we here at BIO spend a great deal of our field work sampling in Canada’s beautiful National Parks. In fact, from 2012 to 2014, BIO and Parks Canada partnered up to complete a massive national barcoding project that aimed to map out the country’s arthropod biodiversity: the Canadian National Parks (CNP) Malaise Program. I spent a lot of time planning, organizing, and coordinating this project and am thrilled to finally have results! Continue reading “DNA barcoding and Malaise traps capture the remarkable diversity in Canada’s National Parks”