123/150: The European earwig may be a pest to us, but at least they have good mothers

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Dermaptera: Forficulidae: Forficula auricularia (Linnaeus, 1758)

The European earwig is an introduced species, as you may have guessed from its common name. This insect is known as a household pest and with omnivorous eating habits can either be found eating your grains & vegetables, or other smaller insect pests. Despite popular stories, earwigs do not crawl into your ears while you sleep, and they don’t bore into your brain as thought by many people. Unlike most insects, European earwigs display parental care. Once the females lay eggs, they place all of them in a hole and stand over it, protecting them from predators. Females also monitor mold growth and move the eggs around in the hole. Females are known to produce two broods of eggs, the first typically is around 30 to 60 eggs, with the second being around half of that or less. Eggs laid in colder weather typically take around 70 days to hatch, while ones in warmer weather only take around 20 days. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen BIOUG00571-G01 – Point Pelee National Park, Ontario – Malaise Trap. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
A female European Earwig guarding her young. Photo Credit: Nabokov goo.gl/s3vioD
A European Earwig residing on a leaf. Photo Credit: Judy Gallagher goo.gl/vC13rQ

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: SIOCN019-10

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Earwig

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAG9897

122/150: Happy Hagfish Day!

Animalia: Chordata: Myxini: Myxiniformes: Myxinidae: Eptatretinae: Eptatretus: Eptatretus stoutii (Lockington, 1878)

The Pacific Hagfish is a jawless fish species that has a long, eel-like body. They are boneless, with only cartilage and keratin structures and flexible enough they can tie themselves into knots – a useful tool for applying some biting force when you have no jaw! They live up to 1000 meters below the surface, and feed on the carcasses of various aquatic animals, although they can go months without food. They are most famous for their unique predator evasion method: creating bucket loads of slime. Their skin is loose, and packed with slime glands, which – when grabbed by the biting mouth of a potential predator – release copious amounts of slime proteins. These fish can produce an immense quantity of slime in seconds, which makes them slippery and clogs up the mouths, and gills, of their attackers. Unfortunately their population is thought to be declining, because of their value in Asian eel-leather markets. #HagfishDay #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Pacific Hagfish ties itself in knots to eat and remove itself from its own slime! Photo Credit: kinskarije goo.gl/i23yAH
Pacific Hagfish curled up and resting. Photo Credit: Jeanette_bham goo.gl/m26Dgg
Specimen NEOCAL07-0004 – Bamfield Inlet, British Columbia – 13-Jun-2007. Photo Credit: Dirk Steinke & Tyler Zemlak, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: TZFPA151-07

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Hagfish

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAC6695

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

120/150: Nematodes, one of the most abundant organisms on Earth

Animalia: Nematoda: Chromadorea: Rhabditida (Diesing, 1861)

Nematodes, aka roundworms, are extremely successful organisms that have adapted to almost every ecosystem; including polar regions, soils, as well as the inside of other organisms (you and me!). Nematodes represent 90% of all animals on the ocean floor and have been found at depths of over 3 km below the surface of the Earth in gold mines. Continue reading “120/150: Nematodes, one of the most abundant organisms on Earth”

119/150: Blue Bee or not Blue Bee… The unsung heroes of orchard pollination

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Hymenoptera: Megachilidae: Osmia: Osmia lignaria Say 1837

When you think of important pollinators, you picture honeybees and bumblebees, but have you heard of blue bees? The Blue Orchard Bee or Mason Orchard Bee (Osmia lignaria) is a species in the family Megachilidae, a group of solitary bees with long hairs on the underside of their abdomens used to carry pollen (scopa). Continue reading “119/150: Blue Bee or not Blue Bee… The unsung heroes of orchard pollination”

118/150: A snake that plays possum

Animalia: Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae: Dipsadinae: Heterodon: Heterodon platirhinos (Latreille, 1801)

The eastern hognose snake is named for its distinctive upturned snout, which it uses to dig through sandy soil. Individuals average about 28 inches in length, with the females typically being larger than males. They are found in several pockets of eastern North America, and can come in a variety of colour combinations depending on their locale. Continue reading “118/150: A snake that plays possum”

117/150: Just out of sight-The commonly overlooked Western Redback Salamander

Animalia: Chordata: Amphibia: Caudata: Plethodontidae: Plethodontinae: Plethodon: Plethodon vehiculum (Cooper, 1860)

The western redback salamander is a relatively small salamander, measuring about 4 to 10 centimeters in length, and is commonly identified by distinctive stripe down their back. Though their name indicates this stripe as red, it can also be yellow, olive, and tan. In some cases, it doesn’t appear at all. Continue reading “117/150: Just out of sight-The commonly overlooked Western Redback Salamander”

116/150: The questionable habits of the Question Mark Butterfly

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Nymphalinae: Polygonia: Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius 1798)

When thinking of territorial animals, the first ones that come to mind likely aren’t butterflies. The adult males of the question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) will defend their territory on trees they have perched on. Continue reading “116/150: The questionable habits of the Question Mark Butterfly”

115/150: The Giant Puffball is right out of a fairytale!

Fungi: Basidiomycota: Agaricomycetes: Agaricales: Agaricaceae: Calvatia: Calvatia gigantea (Batsch) Lloyd 1904

The Giant Puffball appears in the folklore of many cultures due to its large whimsical appearance. On average these mushrooms are 10-70 cm in diameter, but get as big as 150 cm! The Giant Puffball is one of many mushrooms found to develop ‘fairy rings’, which are associated with witchcraft in many cultures. Continue reading “115/150: The Giant Puffball is right out of a fairytale!”

114/150: The Magnetic Gumboot Chiton

Animalia: Mollusca: Polyplacophora: Chitonida: Acanthochitonidae: Cryptochiton: Cryptochiton stelleri (von Middendorff, 1847)

Chitons are some underrated interesting creatures. Like their better-known relatives, the gastropods, chitons have a mantle, a muscular foot for locomotion, and a radula for eating. Their radula, or ‘rasping tongue’ is made up of many teeth like structures that are capped with magnetite, an element with enough magnetic power to pick up these chitons with a magnet. Continue reading “114/150: The Magnetic Gumboot Chiton”