107/150: Loggerhead Shrike – The “Butcher Bird”

Animalia: Chordata: Aves: Passeriformes: Laniidae: Lanius: Lanius ludovicianus Linnaeus, 1766

The loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) is classed as Endangered, with only 31 breeding pairs reported in Ontario in 2009, leading to many captive breeding programs. Although classed as a passerine bird (often known as perching, or song birds), shrikes hunt in an almost hawk-like way, impaling prey on spiny bushes or barbed wire fences before tearing it apart to eat. Continue reading “107/150: Loggerhead Shrike – The “Butcher Bird””

41/150: Everything you’ve been wanting to know about ticks!

animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Ixodida: Ixodidae: Ixodinae: Ixodes: Ixodes scapularis (Say, 1821)

The blacklegged, or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) is widely known as the tick species to spread Lyme disease, a bacterial infection of Borrelia burgdorferi.  This species of tick has a distribution throughout Eastern North America, through to southern Ontario. Continue reading “41/150: Everything you’ve been wanting to know about ticks!”

21/150: The Plant That Bites Back

Plantae: Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Caryophyllales: Droseraceae: Drosera: Drosera linearis (Goldie)

The slender leaf sundew (Drosera linearis) is a carnivorous plant that lives in boggy areas with nitrogen-poor soil.  Their main diet consists of mosquitoes and other small insects, which they trap using sticky hair-like structures on their leaves.  It can take the plant as little as 15 minutes to kill the mosquito, but they digest their insect prey for up to 2 weeks! Continue reading “21/150: The Plant That Bites Back”

The Moss Bosses

By Liz Darling (Sears) and Jesse Sills

Hi everyone! Now that the vascular plants of Canada DNA barcoding project is all finished (Read about it here), the team here at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics has moved on to another group of plants: the Bryophytes.  This term broadly encompasses all land plants that do not have any true vascular tissue, which includes the mosses, liverworts and hornworts.  Continue reading “The Moss Bosses”

Oodles of Odonates at Awenda Provincial Park

This past week, the BIObus visited Georgian Bay Islands, Six Mile Lake, and finally Awenda Provincial Park, nestled at the tip of the Penetanguishene (meaning “land of white, rolling sands”) Peninsula in Georgian Bay.  This park has both a rich geological as well as cultural history, with the area having been inhabited by humans as far back as 11,000 years ago.  Continue reading “Oodles of Odonates at Awenda Provincial Park”

Plenty of Pollinators and Ample Amphipods: Georgian Bay Islands and Six Mile Lake

It is yet again time for a quick update on the comings and goings of the BIObus!  Thanushi, Kate and I spent this past week visiting and sampling in three different parks: Six Mile Lake Provincial Park, Georgian Bay Islands National Park and Awenda Provincial Park.  With glorious weather and beautiful sample sites, it was the perfect week for aquatic sampling.  Continue reading “Plenty of Pollinators and Ample Amphipods: Georgian Bay Islands and Six Mile Lake”