99/150: Lampshells – Watt do you mean it’s not a mussel?

Animalia: Brachiopoda: Rhynchonellata: Terebratulida: Terebratellidae: Terebrataliinae: Terebratalia: Terebratalia transversa (Sowerby, 1846)

Lampshells, including Terebratalia transversa, belong to the phylum Brachiopoda, which translates to arm-foot in Greek. Brachiopods have been around for millions of years, dominating the oceans in the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), but now have a smaller distribution and are known as living fossils as some species have survived for millions of years unchanged. Continue reading “99/150: Lampshells – Watt do you mean it’s not a mussel?”

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

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”

52/150: Daphnia – Science’s preeminent and revered crustacean

Animalia: Arthropoda: Branchiopoda: Diplostraca: Daphniidae: Daphnia: Daphnia pulex (Leydig, 1860)

Daphnia pulex (Water Flea) is the most abundant crustacean in freshwater systems. An essential part of the food web, Daphnia eat algae and phytoplankton and are food for fish, insects and water mites. Daphnia are incredible filterers, removing algae out of a lake at 4 mL/hour! Continue reading “52/150: Daphnia – Science’s preeminent and revered crustacean”

38/150: Soak up this info on sponges!

animalia: Porifera: Demospongiae: Halisarcida: Halisarcidae: Halisarca: Halisarca dujardini (Johnston, 1842)

What is a sponge exactly? You probably thought it’s something you use for cleaning. These simple animals are without circulatory, digestive and nervous systems and have been around for over 500 million years! Continue reading “38/150: Soak up this info on sponges!”