Plantae: Bryophyta: Bryopsida: Buxbaumiidae: Buxbaumiaceae: Buxbaumia aphylla (Hedw. 1801)
This unusual plant is actually a species of moss! Buxbaumia aphylla, known as bug-on-a-stick, is found across the upper Northern Hemisphere in temperate and subarctic regions. Despite being a hardy moss that can tolerate poor soil quality and disturbed habitats, it is a short-lived competitor and has a hard time establishing new populations. It is a rare microscopic moss with reduced, microscopic leaves and gametophytes and is very rarely seen. Only the reproductive sporophyte is visible, appearing as a stalked green or brown capsule which gives the impression of a bug on the end of a stick. To disperse its spores, the bug-on-a-stick relies on rain drops to make contact with the flat capsule in order to eject the spores, assuming the yummy-looking green capsule isn’t eaten by hungry herbivores! We have successful barcodes for seven specimens of this species. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150
Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:
Process ID: BRYCA1897-16
amino acid sequence
Title Image: Three mature Bug-On-A-Stick capsules.
Photo Credit: Tab Tannery, goo.gl/53q4ws