142/150: A small creature with a long history

Animalia: Arthropoda: Ostracoda: Podocopida: Cyprididae: Cypridopsinae: Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Müller, 1776)

The Ostracods are an ancient crustacean that has been around for over 50 million years! Of the nearly 70,000 species described, only 13,000 are alive today, all others being discovered as fossils. Many ostracods have found use in the field of biostratigraphy – a technique used to estimate the relative age of rock based on the type of fossils it contains.

Ostracods vary in size from 0.2 mm – 30 mm and are protected by a chitinous shell that resembles that of a mussel. While mostly found in marine water, more and more are being discovered in fresh water environments – around 2000 species in 2008 alone. The largest family of non-marine ostracods is the Cyprididae. Members of this family, such as Cypridopsis vidua have drought resistant eggs, as well as the ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually.

Some ostracods are bioluminescent. This property was useful to the Japanese army during World War II as they could be collected in jars and used as lights. The light produced was bright enough that they could to do things such as read maps while still being dark enough that their position would remain uncompromised. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 11AlgonqNJ0059 – Coon Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada – 26-Jun-2011 Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Scanning electron image of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Paulo Corgosinho goo.gl/UaC8LN
Dorsal view of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Markus Lindholm, Anders Hobæk/Norsk institutt for vassforsking goo.gl/iUCNP8
Fossil of a large ostracod from the Silurian Soeginina Beds of Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Photo Credit: Mark A. Wilson goo.gl/1VCJnA

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: COAPP059-12

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Ostracod

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAH0892

133/150: Arctic Isopods – Cold and Calculated

Animalia: Arthropoda: Malacostraca: Isopoda: Arcturidae: Arcturus baffini (Sabine, 1824)

Arctic isopods are unique crustaceans living in the Arctic Ocean, with over 50 species. Most are small, ranging from 0.5-1.5 cm in length, but some, like Arcturus baffini, can grow beyond 10 cm! Making them large organisms in a cold environment. These isopods are poor swimmers, instead they crawl along the ocean floor with their legs. Most are scavengers while others are known to be parasitic. They often burrow in sediments creating small underwater tunnels. Most immature arctic isopods are held in a specialized chamber in their mother until they are developed enough to leave. The immature Arcturus baffini are different in that they will hold onto their mother’s antennae until they reach maturity. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen HLC-26100–Resolute Nunavut, Canada – 01-Jan-2000. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Illustration of Arcturus baffini. Photo Credit: Taina Litwak goo.gl/p5PtLd
Arcturus baffini with its large feeling antennae extended. Photo Credit: Kathy Conlan goo.gl/Ku8CNk

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: NNMC238-08

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Arctic isopod

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAJ7844

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”

27/150: The small priceless gems of freshwater ecosystems

Animalia: Arthropoda: Malacostraca: Amphipoda: Hyalellidae: Hyalella: Hyalella azteca (Saussure, 1858)

Amphipods are common crustaceans that are found in freshwater bodies such as lakes and rivers and Hyalella azteca is one of the most abundant in North America. Due to their small size, these animals mainly feed on diatoms, algae and organic detritus. Continue reading “27/150: The small priceless gems of freshwater ecosystems”

9/150: Fairly Shore it’s a Fairy Shrimp

Animalia: Arthropoda: Branchiopoda : Anostraca: Branchinectida: Branchinecta: Branchinecta paludosa (O. F. Müller, 1788)

Branchinecta paludosa is a species of fairy shrimp found almost everywhere in the northern hemisphere, and one of the only four species of fairy shrimp that are freshwater inhabitants. Most species in the fairy shrimp group have several pairs of swimming legs, which they utilize to swim upside-down, and they tend to live in pools without fish! Continue reading “9/150: Fairly Shore it’s a Fairy Shrimp”

Seastars and Urchins and Crabs, Oh My!

Today we went to service two of our sites in the morning, the one stationed by Roe Lake, our marshland site within Pender Island, and Roesland Coast, our grassy, forest and ocean rimmed site. Once we had collected and strained all of the insects from the different pans, pitfalls and intercepts, we then decided that today the weather and timing of the tides was perfect to do some marine aquatic collecting Continue reading “Seastars and Urchins and Crabs, Oh My!”

Bison, Prairie Dogs and Thunderstorms

Hello! Danielle again, here to tell you about the BIOBus crew’s adventures in Grasslands.

Today we ventured from our normal location, the East Block of Grasslands National Park, and drove to explore the West Block of Grasslands National Park. There is no direct route between the two blocks, so we had to drive north above the parks, and then head west. Continue reading “Bison, Prairie Dogs and Thunderstorms”