121/150: A tale of springtails

Animalia: Arthropoda: Collembola: Entomobryomorpha: Entomobryidae: Entomobrya: Entomobrya gisini (Christiansen, 1958)

Slender springtails are tiny, abundant organisms that are less than 1 cm long. There can be thousands of springtails within a square meter of soil. They live in damp habitats and can be found in soil, leaf litter, rotting logs, and sometimes you may see them in your home. They are harmless and only eat decaying organic matter, fungus, and algae. These springtails are distinctly different from the round, stout springtails in that slender springtails look more like a grain of rice. All springtails possess a furculum and a collophore. The furculum, their spring tail, tucks under their body and acts as a catapult that can launch a springtail several inches forward. The collophore is a tube structure on the ventral side of the abdomen that was thought to aid the animal in sticking to surfaces but is now believed to play a role in osmoregulation. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen BIOUG03454-H10 – Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada – 13-Jun-2012 – Malaise Trap. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Slender springtails come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colours. Photo Credit: Andy Murray goo.gl/QzVdke

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: CNJAD1685-12

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Slender springtails

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAA7239

108/150: Dead moose, buffet, fighting arena, or dance floor? For waltzing flies, it’s all the above

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Piophilidae: Piophilinae: Prochyliza: Prochyliza xanthostoma (Walker, 1849)

This North American fly occurs in forests, aggregating around moose carcasses as they are carrion feeders. Females will wait on vegetation surrounding a carcass and watch males combat on the carcass. The flies are sexually dimorphic and males have larger antennae, head capsules, and foretarsi for competing in combat. Continue reading “108/150: Dead moose, buffet, fighting arena, or dance floor? For waltzing flies, it’s all the above”

106/150: Thrips are tiny insects with big agricultural implications

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Thysanoptera: Thripidae: Thripinae: Frankliniella: Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande, 1895)

Western flower thrips belong to the order Thysanoptera. These insects are very small (~1mm long) and elongated with long thin wings fringed with hairs. Like true bugs, they have small piercing and sucking mouthparts on the underside for feeding on plant tissue. Continue reading “106/150: Thrips are tiny insects with big agricultural implications”

104/150: Feeling crabby about pubic lice?

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Psocodea: Pthiridae: Pthirus: Pthirus pubis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Humans host three types of lice, which are wingless and unable to jump so they spend their entire lifecycle on the host. The pubic louse, a blood sucking parasite that lives exclusively on humans, can thrive anywhere on the body with coarse hair, such as in beards or the eyelashes. Continue reading “104/150: Feeling crabby about pubic lice?”

91/150: Don’t impede this millipede!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Diplopoda: Polyxenida: Polyxenidae: Polyxenus: Polyxenus lagurus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bristle millipedes live in dark and damp habitats like logs and soil that other millipedes also call home. Unlike other millipedes, bristle millipedes grow spikes like a porcupine because they lack the chemical defenses possessed by most millipedes. Continue reading “91/150: Don’t impede this millipede!”

78/150: Jumping bloodsuckers Batman! It’s a flea!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae: Ceratophyllinae: Ceratophyllus: Ceratophyllus vison (Baker, 1904)

This species of flea is an ectoparasitic insect of squirrels, living on red squirrels east of the Rocky Mountains and Douglas squirrels to the west. Being an ectoparasite means that they live on a host, so fleas have evolved particular features that help them live such a lifestyle, such as a loss of wing development, strong claws for grasping onto the host, and a laterally flattened body to move through the hair or fur. Continue reading “78/150: Jumping bloodsuckers Batman! It’s a flea!”