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

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!”

57/150: Providing A Good Start: The unique parental care of Wolf Spiders

Animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Araneae: Lycosidae: Trochosa: Trochosa ruricola (De Geer, 1778)

The Rustic Wolf Spider belongs to the family Lycosidae, and is known for its keen eyesight and skilled hunting. They occur in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands, woodlands, and scrubs across the globe. While many spiders lay their eggs and leave them be, wolf spiders will go the extra mile to protect their young. Continue reading “57/150: Providing A Good Start: The unique parental care of Wolf Spiders”

29/150: Save A Spider Day – The Spined Micrathena

animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Araneae: Araneidae: Micrathena: Micrathena gracilis (Walckenaer, 1805)

Micrathena gracilis is a moderately large orb-weaver spider from family Araneidae, commonly known as the spined micrathena. The females are typically black with white markings and have five pairs of black spines which are conical tubercles on the upper side of the abdomen. Continue reading “29/150: Save A Spider Day – The Spined Micrathena”

5/150: Tiny spiders crawl their way into the record books

Animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Araneae: Anapidae: Comaroma: Comaroma mendocino (Levi, 1957)

Comaroma mendocino is a new representative for Canada of the spider family Anapidae. This small rare spider was first described in 1957 by Herbert Levi from the United States in Casper, Mendocino County, California. It was found in British Columbia, Saturna Island by Claudia and Darren Copley with one female specimen collected in October 2013. Continue reading “5/150: Tiny spiders crawl their way into the record books”

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”

A Send Off For Spiders

Hello everyone,
The summer is quickly coming to a close and with it, my summer position at BIO, but this isn’t the end for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to secure a part-time position once again working on spiders during the upcoming fall semester. In light of this, I figured I would fill this final blog by listing three of my favourite spider species. Continue reading “A Send Off For Spiders”

BIO Blitzes BioBlitzes

Hi everyone,

I recently got back from another fun weekend of BioBlitzing – this time in the Ojibway Prairie Complex (OPC). The OPC is the equivalent of a gold mine for discovering species that are new to science or Canada. Continue reading “BIO Blitzes BioBlitzes”

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”

Persi’s Pinery Provincial Park Plankton Pull

Hi everyone,

I just returned from a busy but fun filled week on the BIObus at the Pinery Provincial Park. The main objective was to sample aquatic invertebrates and compile a bio-inventory for the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). If you’ve been reading my earlier blogs you know that I’m keen on spiders, and fortunately, I was able to collect some interesting spiders in the ABCA. One unusual spider I found was the orb-weaving Arrow-shaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittata). Continue reading “Persi’s Pinery Provincial Park Plankton Pull”

Natural Wonders of the Ausable-Bayfield Watershed, with a Little Bit of Outreach

Welcome to another rendition of my blog where you will hear incredible stories about our adventures in the Canadian wilderness.

On June 29, a few of us from BIO teamed up with Pinery Provincial Park and the surrounding Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) to collect, sort and maintain samples of aquatic and soil invertebrates to help construct the DNA barcode library. This will allow us to someday assess the biotic integrity of the Ausable-Bayfield Watershed by sequencing the environmental DNA in a water or soil sample. Continue reading “Natural Wonders of the Ausable-Bayfield Watershed, with a Little Bit of Outreach”