Ontario Provincial Parks Malaise Program Results!

Back in 2014 we deployed Malaise Traps in 51 Ontario Provincial Parks with the help of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) in a large experiment to assess arthropod diversity. We completed our analysis last year after sorting ~250,000 specimens and putting another ~750,000 through bulk analysis. That was a job indeed! Continue reading “Ontario Provincial Parks Malaise Program Results!”

99/150: Lampshells – Watt do you mean it’s not a mussel?

Animalia: Brachiopoda: Rhynchonellata: Terebratulida: Terebratellidae: Terebrataliinae: Terebratalia: Terebratalia transversa (Sowerby, 1846)

Lampshells, including Terebratalia transversa, belong to the phylum Brachiopoda, which translates to arm-foot in Greek. Brachiopods have been around for millions of years, dominating the oceans in the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), but now have a smaller distribution and are known as living fossils as some species have survived for millions of years unchanged. Continue reading “99/150: Lampshells – Watt do you mean it’s not a mussel?”

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”

54/150: Imagine a worm 60 metres long!

Animalia: Nemertea: Enopla: Monostilifera: Emplectonematidae: Paranemertes: Paranemertes peregrina (Coe, 1901)

Nemertea, also known as “ribbon worm” is a phylum of marine invertebrate worm-like animals that are characterized by their eversible proboscis. The proboscis is used to catch prey and comes out of the nemertean’s body and stabs its prey with a venomous tip. Continue reading “54/150: Imagine a worm 60 metres long!”

52/150: Daphnia – Science’s preeminent and revered crustacean

Animalia: Arthropoda: Branchiopoda: Diplostraca: Daphniidae: Daphnia: Daphnia pulex (Leydig, 1860)

Daphnia pulex (Water Flea) is the most abundant crustacean in freshwater systems. An essential part of the food web, Daphnia eat algae and phytoplankton and are food for fish, insects and water mites. Daphnia are incredible filterers, removing algae out of a lake at 4 mL/hour! Continue reading “52/150: Daphnia – Science’s preeminent and revered crustacean”

38/150: Soak up this info on sponges!

animalia: Porifera: Demospongiae: Halisarcida: Halisarcidae: Halisarca: Halisarca dujardini (Johnston, 1842)

What is a sponge exactly? You probably thought it’s something you use for cleaning. These simple animals are without circulatory, digestive and nervous systems and have been around for over 500 million years! Continue reading “38/150: Soak up this info on sponges!”

10/150: Have you ever eaten red algae? We bet you have!

Plantae: Rhodophyta: Florideophyceae: Ceramiales: Wrangeliaceae: Ptilota: Ptilota serrata (Kützing, 1847)

Red algae (Phylum Rhodophyta) are a diverse group of plants with over 7,000 species known and we have DNA barcodes for over 3,000 of them. Ptilota serrata, the Northern Sea Fern is a common red algae found on the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic coasts of Canada. Continue reading “10/150: Have you ever eaten red algae? We bet you have!”

7/150: In the dead of Winter snow fleas emerge

animalia: Arthropoda: Collembola: Poduromorpha: Hypogastruridae: Hypogastrura: Hypogastrura tooliki (Fjellberg, 1985)

Hypogastrura tooliki (Toolik Snow Flea) is part of a group of animals known as snow fleas. These tiny creatures are not fleas at all, they are Collembola or springtails. Continue reading “7/150: In the dead of Winter snow fleas emerge”

Beginning to Barcode British Columbia

The summer of 2014 can be said to have been CBG’s busiest field season. Not only was it the final year of the Canadian National Parks (CNP) Malaise Program, but we also focused on concentrated sampling efforts in provincial parks within Ontario and British Columbia (BC). Now that the CNP Program is complete, we were finally able to process some of our BC samples. Continue reading “Beginning to Barcode British Columbia”

Entomological Society of Ontario Conference 2015

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Entomological Society of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting, this year held at the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS). Allison and I were invited to speak at the meeting and bring the BIObus along so everyone could learn how we promote insects, biodiversity and science to the public. Continue reading “Entomological Society of Ontario Conference 2015”