142/150: A small creature with a long history

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Animalia: Arthropoda: Ostracoda: Podocopida: Cyprididae: Cypridopsinae: Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Müller, 1776)

The Ostracods are an ancient crustacean that has been around for over 50 million years! Of the nearly 70,000 species described, only 13,000 are alive today, all others being discovered as fossils. Many ostracods have found use in the field of biostratigraphy – a technique used to estimate the relative age of rock based on the type of fossils it contains.

Ostracods vary in size from 0.2 mm – 30 mm and are protected by a chitinous shell that resembles that of a mussel. While mostly found in marine water, more and more are being discovered in fresh water environments – around 2000 species in 2008 alone. The largest family of non-marine ostracods is the Cyprididae. Members of this family, such as Cypridopsis vidua have drought resistant eggs, as well as the ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually.

Some ostracods are bioluminescent. This property was useful to the Japanese army during World War II as they could be collected in jars and used as lights. The light produced was bright enough that they could to do things such as read maps while still being dark enough that their position would remain uncompromised. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 11AlgonqNJ0059 – Coon Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada – 26-Jun-2011 Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Scanning electron image of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Paulo Corgosinho goo.gl/UaC8LN
Dorsal view of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Markus Lindholm, Anders Hobæk/Norsk institutt for vassforsking goo.gl/iUCNP8
Fossil of a large ostracod from the Silurian Soeginina Beds of Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Photo Credit: Mark A. Wilson goo.gl/1VCJnA

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: COAPP059-12

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Ostracod

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAH0892

135/150: This tiny mite can cause massive damage!

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Animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Trombidiformes: Tetranycinae: Tetranychinae: Tetranychus: Tetranychus urticae (C. L. Kock, 1836)

The two-spotted spider mite is of economic importance as it is a common pest worldwide.  It has been found to feed on more than 1,100 different species of plants! Including important crops such as maize, soy, citrus, apples, tomatoes, strawberries, and peppers. By sucking the cell contents from leaves, the mite leaves small lesions that in large numbers will reduce the photosynthetic capabilities of plants. It is highly resistant to pesticides so researchers sequenced its entire genome in 2011 to understand its biology to create more effective pesticides.

These mites are barely visible to the naked eye at 0.4 mm long and comes in many colours including brown, orange, and green. It is named for the two spots located symmetrically on each side of its back. These spots are actually the buildup of body waste that can be seen through the mite’s transparent body wall. Like all spider mites, the two-spotted variety can spin fine strands of web. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen BIOUG08419-E08 – Wellington County, Guelph, Ontario, Canada – 30-May-2013. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Web of the spider mite Tetranycus urticae. Photo Credit: University of Florida goo.gl/6jokcW
Colorized scanning electron microscope image of Tetranychus urticae. Photo Credit: Eric Erbe and Chris Pooley goo.gl/6jokcW
Eggs of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae. Photo Credit: Gilles San Martin goo.gl/65c6Cm

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: MBIOC060-13

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Two-spotted spider mite

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ABY3244

133/150: Arctic Isopods – Cold and Calculated

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Animalia: Arthropoda: Malacostraca: Isopoda: Arcturidae: Arcturus baffini (Sabine, 1824)

Arctic isopods are unique crustaceans living in the Arctic Ocean, with over 50 species. Most are small, ranging from 0.5-1.5 cm in length, but some, like Arcturus baffini, can grow beyond 10 cm! Making them large organisms in a cold environment. These isopods are poor swimmers, instead they crawl along the ocean floor with their legs. Most are scavengers while others are known to be parasitic. They often burrow in sediments creating small underwater tunnels. Most immature arctic isopods are held in a specialized chamber in their mother until they are developed enough to leave. The immature Arcturus baffini are different in that they will hold onto their mother’s antennae until they reach maturity. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen HLC-26100–Resolute Nunavut, Canada – 01-Jan-2000. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Illustration of Arcturus baffini. Photo Credit: Taina Litwak goo.gl/p5PtLd
Arcturus baffini with its large feeling antennae extended. Photo Credit: Kathy Conlan goo.gl/Ku8CNk

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: NNMC238-08

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Arctic isopod

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAJ7844

130/150: They may not have wings, but boy can they jump!

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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Archaeognatha: Machilidae: Petrobiinae: Pedetontus: Pedetontus submutans (Silvestri, 1911)

The jumping bristletails belong to the order Archaeognatha. These small insects exhibit three pronged tails, an arched back, and two compound eyes. Its body is covered in detached scales making it very hard for predators to grip. Living in diverse habitats from moist shorelines to dry deserts, the jumping bristletails are well adapted for many environments having evolved eversible moisture absorbing vesicles. They are known for their quick movements and ability to jump over 25 cm at a time. These fast moving hexapods don’t even have to meet their mates. Instead the males leave their spermatophore out in the open, attaching silken threads for the females to find and follow. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 10BBSIO-0199 – Willowbrae Trail, Pacific Rim NP, British Columbia – 03-Jul-2010 -Free Hand. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Jumping Bristletail, Pedetontus submutans, on the tip of an index finger. Photo Credit: Keith Roragen goo.gl/cG9aDB
Jumping Bristletail, Pedetontus submutans, in a mossy forest environment. Photo Credit: Shipher Wu goo.gl/fqEvSF

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: SIOCA199-10

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Jumping bristletail

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAV1528