146/150: Engelmann’s Quillwort is under threat! Only 2000 left in Canada

Plantae: Lycopodiophyta: Isoetopsida: Isoetales: Isoetaceae: Isoetes: Isoetes engelmannii (A.Braun.)

The Engelmann’s Quillwort (Isoetes engelmannii), also known as Appalachian Quillwort, is an aquatic plant found along shallow ponds, temporary shallow pools, roadside ditches and marshes. It is small fern that is 20-40 cm in height but can grow up to 90 cm. It has long, thin, hollow green leaves. It is uncommon but widespread throughout eastern North America. In Canada, it is native but only found in two locations in Ontario restricted to two rivers. For this reason, it is considered endangered in Canada. Habitat destruction, recreational activities, and pollution contribute to the threat to its population. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen CCDB-23395-A02 – Ontario, Canada – 13-Sep-1989. Photo Credit: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Engelmann’s quillwort at the edge of a shallow pond. Photo Credit: W. Carl Taylor, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Northeast National Technical Center, Chester.
Engelmann’s quillwort found in a river valley. Photo Credit: Alan Cressler goo.gl/t34fqJ

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: VASCB002-15

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Engelmann's Quillwort

136/150: Poach Eggs Not Whitefish

Animalia: Chordata: Actinopterygii: Salmoniformes: Salmonidae: Coregonus: Coregonus huntsmani (W. B. Scott, 1987)

The Atlantic whitefish (Coregonus huntsmani), is native to Nova Scotia, Canada residing in the Tusket River and Petite Riviere. If you see this species, consider yourself lucky. In 1970, under the federal Fisheries Act, the fishing for the species was prohibited. Habitat loss from the damming of the Tusket River contributed to its decline as well as introduced fish species. To this day, it is still considered endangered. The Atlantic whitefish has silver coloured sides and a darkish blue-green back, spawns in freshwater and lives out most of its life in the sea. Its diet consists of amphipods, periwinkles and marine worms. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

The Atlantic whitefish (Coregonus huntsmani), an endangered species. Photo Credit: Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada goo.gl/x8k8Ca
Range of the Atlantic whitefish. Photo Credit: Government of Canada goo.gl/GZy7UT

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: BCFB943-07

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Atlantic Whitefish

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAI9334

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””

59/150: Snorkels & Pancakes for World Turtle Day!

Animalia: Chordata: Vertebrata: Reptilia: Testudines: Cryptodira: Trionychidae: Trionychinae: Apalone: Apalone spinifera (Charles Lesueur, 1827)

Spiny softshell turtles have a unique leathery shell which causes them to sometimes be called the pancake turtle! They can reach up to 54 cm and have a distinguishable snorkel like nose that allows them to stay submerged underwater for long periods of time. Continue reading “59/150: Snorkels & Pancakes for World Turtle Day!”

12/150: Meet the Vancouver Island Marmot for Groundhog Day!

animalia: Chordata: Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae: Xerinae: Marmota: Marmota vancouverensis (Swarth, 1911)

This year, Ontario’s ever so fluctuating winter weather has everyone eagerly looking forward to Groundhog Day. As the groundhog emerges from their burrows, citizens of Ontario are on the edge of their seats as they wait to see if the groundhog sees its shadow, indicating the early or late arrival of spring. Continue reading “12/150: Meet the Vancouver Island Marmot for Groundhog Day!”

11/150: Damned by the dam-The Cobblestone Tiger Beetle

animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae: Cicindela: Cicindela marginipennis (DeJean, 1831)

Cobblestone tiger beetles (Cicindela marginipennis) live in small, divided communities in North America, and are endangered in Canada, with an estimated 5,000 individuals remaining. These beetles live in only two areas along the Saint John River in New Brunswick, as they need specialized river habitats with large tree covered islands and sprawling cobblestone beaches to thrive. Continue reading “11/150: Damned by the dam-The Cobblestone Tiger Beetle”