101/150: Not a banana, not a mango, it’s a pawpaw fruit!

Plantae: Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Magnoliales: Annonaceae: Asimina: Asimina triloba Linnaeus, Dunal

What do you get when you cross the taste of a banana with the look and texture of a mango? A pawpaw fruit! Believe it or not, the tropical-looking pawpaw tree, which is native to North America, gives the largest tree berry in all of North America. When blossoming, the common pawpaw (Asimina tribola) can give off an unpleasant odour. Continue reading “101/150: Not a banana, not a mango, it’s a pawpaw fruit!”

94/150: O Canada Darner!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Odonata: Aeshnidae: Aeshna: Aeshna canadensis Walker, 1908

A real Canadian dragonfly, the Canada darner Aeshna canadensis is native to all ten Canadian provinces. Ranging from a brilliant blue to a rich brown in colour, Canada darner males are usually seen hovering near edges of boggy freshwater habitats, whereas the milder coloured females (who can come in blue, green or yellow) tend to be seen near forested areas or fields. Dragonflies are not just a beautiful sight to be seen. In fact, the presence of dragonflies near a beaver pond or lake – alongside the presence of damselflies and mayflies – is an indicator of a healthy and biodiverse aquatic ecosystem! Not only that, but dragonflies are very sensitive to global climate change – which means that by observing changes in their populations it can indicate changes in climate. Keep an eye out for these important insects on your next hike and see if you are passing by a healthy ecosystem, or one that may be affected strongly by changing temperatures. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

A Canada darner in flight. Photo Credit: Gary Yankech goo.gl/i6Ga2
The colourful patterns of the Canada darner. Photo Credit: Mike Ostrowski goo.gl/BKAn2V

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: ODSO720-08

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Canada Darner

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ABU7323

Title Image: Specimen ODSO720-08 – Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba – 12-Aug-2008
Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

81/150: This species is just peachy!

Animalia: 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!”

66/150: Well, that is just dumb luck

Plantae: Pteridophyta: Pteridopsida: Hydropteridales: Marsileaceae: Marsilea vestita (Linnaeus)

Don’t be fooled, Hairy waterclover (Marsilea vestita) may LOOK like something that could give you a lifetime of good luck, but in reality are just four-leaf clover wannabes. Hairy waterclover, also known as Hairy pepperwort, is a type of aquatic fern that you can find in damp areas such as vernal pools, ponds and muddy banks. Continue reading “66/150: Well, that is just dumb luck”

63/150: The Ultimate Diving Champion

animalia: Chordata: Aves: Anseriformes: Anatidae: Clangula: Clangula hyemalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Now this species is set for the Olympics! The Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) – formerly known as Oldsquaw – sets the record for one of the deepest diving ducks (over 60 metres)! Whereas Olympic athletes perform impressive feats like these for medals, the Long-tailed Duck must dive to survive. Continue reading “63/150: The Ultimate Diving Champion”