145/150: Coneheads. (No, I’m not talking about the nineties movie)

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Animalia: Arthropoda: Protura: Eosentomata:  Eosentomidae Berlese, 1909

Look closely, you don’t want to miss them! These proturans are less than 2 mm in length and lack wings, antennae, eyes and pigment; producing an almost see through body. Although they lack some arguably important body parts, they make up for it in other unique ways. They are quadrupeds because their front legs, which are segmented into 5 parts, lost the ability to support their weight and adapted to function as antennae. Furthermore, their bodies are covered in sensory hairs that aid in types of temperature, chemical, humidity and vibrational sensing. Coneheads exhibit anamorphosis, the number of abdominal segments increases with subsequent molts until they reach the adult’s full twelve. Although hard to spot, coneheads can be incredibly numerous in places with moss, leaf litter, decaying wood and temperate forest soils. Their diets are somewhat of a mystery much like the rest of their ecology but have been observed feeding on a mycorrhiza, a fungus that lives on plant roots and fungal hyphae, and in terms of economic importance they are part of the community of decomposers that aid in breaking down and recycling organic nutrients. Overall, there’s more than what meets the eye with these tiny creatures! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen BIOUG26318-D08 – Long Point Prpvincial Park, Ontario – 14-July-2015 – Berlese Funnel
A Conehead on what may be soil or decaying wood. Photo Credit: Andy Murray goo.gl/ic3Zcn
A Conehead possibly feeding on a fungus. Photo Credit Andy Murray goo.gl/3V5A25

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: SWJNH052-15

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Protura

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ACY5591

140/150: Don’t Let the Scabies Mite Bite!

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Animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Sarcoptiformes: Sarcoptidae: Sarcoptes: Sarcoptes scabiei (Linnaeus, 1758)

Unfortunately, bite isn’t all that they do. Sarcoptes scabiei is a type of mite that burrows into the epidermis of the skin in humans and multiple other animals. In order to penetrate the skin, scabies mites secrete a pool of what is presumably saliva around their body, their outer layer dissolves, and as it sinks into the skin, their legs seem to move in a digging like motion until they become completely submerged. Mating takes place only once and leaves the female fertile for the rest of her life so as the female burrows, they simultaneously deposit eggs. The female remains in the skin and continues to lengthen her burrow and lay eggs for the rest of her 1 to 2-month life. This infestation is better known as scabies, it creates an itchy red rash on the surface of the skin and can last for months if left untreated. Interestingly, scabies is actually one of the first diseases in humans for which the cause was known and to this day, at any given time, there are approximately 130 million cases of scabies in the world! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Collected from a red fox afflicted with mange: BIOUG30677-F04 – Ontario, Canada. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Sarcoptes scabiei specimen under microscope. Photo Credit: Kalumet goo.gl/5MePym
A scabies mite burrowing into the skin while depositing eggs. Photo Credit: W. Linsenmaier goo.gl/UfaePZ
Day 7 of scabies on right hand. Photo Credit: No author available goo.gl/1XcEtk

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: BBAM007-16

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Scabies mite

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ACQ1853