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

AGGCTATATTTCGTTTTTGGGAGGTGATCTGCAATATTAGGTACTTCTTTAAGATTGTTGATTCGTATTGAACTCGGTAGAGCTGGACAATTTCTAGGGAACGACCAGATCTATAATGTAATTGTGACTGCTCATGCTTTTATTATAATTTTTTTTATAGTAATACCAATTTTAATTGGGGGGTTTGGTAATTGGCTAGTCCCATTAATATTAAGGAGCCCTGACATAGCCTTTCCTCGAATAAATAATTTAAGATTCTGGCTTCTTCCTCCTTCTTTATTGTTATTAGTTTTAAGAAGAATTATTGAAATAGGTGTGGGCACGGGGTGGACTGTGTATCCCCCGCTATCTTCCAACTTAGCTCATTTAGGAGTATCTGTAGATCTTGGGATTTTTTCATTACACCTTGCTGGAGCATCTTCTATTCTAGGGGCTATTAATTTTATTACTACTATTGCTAATTCACGAGGGTTTAAGATTAAAATAGAAAATGTTTCATTATTTAGCTGATCTGTATTATTAACTGCAATCTTACTTCTATTGTCTCTTCCTGTTTTAGCCGGTGCCATTACTATACTTTTAACGGATCGTAATATTAATACTTCCTTTTTTGACCCCTTAGGAGGAGGGGACCCTATTTTATTTCAACATCTTTT

amino acid sequence

SLYFVFGSWSAMLGTSLSLLIRIELGSAGQFLGNDQIYNVIVTAHAFIMIFFMVMPILIGGFGNWLVPLMLSSPDMAFPRMNNLSFWLLPPSLLLLVLSSIIEMGVGTGWTVYPPLSSNLAHLGVSVDLGIFSLHLAGASSILGAINFITTIANSRGFKIKMENVSLFSWSVLLTAILLLLSLPVLAGAITMLLTDRNINTSFFDPLGGGDPILFQHLX

Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Protura

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

62/150: I can live in the dirt or in your home, I hitch-hike on insects and mammals alike, and have venomous pincers. What am I?


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones: Neobisiidae: Microbisium: Microbisium parvulum (Banks,1895)

Pseudoscorpions are rarely seen but are common arachnids that resemble tiny scorpions with their two large pincers and 8 legs. Unlike scorpions, they are 3 mm in size with no stinger. Using venom glands located on the mobile finger of their pincers they prey upon booklice, ants, mites and small flies. Continue reading “62/150: I can live in the dirt or in your home, I hitch-hike on insects and mammals alike, and have venomous pincers. What am I?”

Of Bugs and Men


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This past week wasn’t a mundane week by any means. Setting out at 9am on a Monday morning, Danielle, Dan, Josh, Nate and I set out for Cambridge, Ontario to get samples of the insects inhabiting the Waterloo region. Our destination: the rare Charitable Research Reserve. Continue reading “Of Bugs and Men”

RARE Opportunities for BIO


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Hello BIObus Blog Buddies! I’m here to tell you this week about a new and fascinating reserve where the Biodiversity Institute has started collecting specimens; rare Charitable Research Reserve. The reserve is over 900 acres of beautiful and very diverse landscape, which is actually conveniently close to my house. Continue reading “RARE Opportunities for BIO”

A Mitey Start


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Hello everyone, my name is Nathaniel Jones. This is my first blog of the summer. I am currently getting started on my new position here at BIO. I was fortunate enough to land the summer Undergraduate Research Assistantship position to sample the soil for arthropod diversity. So far this week I have just been getting started, learning a lot about the techniques of sampling small soil arthropods. Some of the mites are so tiny I am unable to use forceps, as they are almost microscopic and hard to distinguish from grains of sand. Continue reading “A Mitey Start”