138/150: Lonchopteridae – Flies without fathers

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Lonchopteridae: Lonchoptera: Lonchoptera bifurcata (Fallen, 1810)

Lonchoptera bifurcata is known as a pointed-winged or spear winged fly with a Holarctic distribution. This means the species is found in all non-tropical regions across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa! The fly can be distinguished from similar species due to the pale-coloured bristles behind the eye, bristles on the front of the tibiae of the first legs, and the distinct sharply pointed wings. L. bifurcata are found in different areas depending on the life stage. Larvae will be found among decaying organic matter like leaves and logs, while adults are more commonly found in most ditches and damp lawns. What’s interesting is that males of the species are not that commonly found, because of this, females have been found to produce young parthenogenetically where unfertilized eggs develop into live young! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Dorsal view of Lonchoptera bifurcata, commonly found in cities across Canada. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Lonchoptera bifurcata posing on a leaf. Photo Credit: Sanja565658 goo.gl/GR4pp1
Lonchoptera bifurcata showing off its wings in Eifel National Park, Germany. Photo Credit: Sarefo goo.gl/w6vULE

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: BBDIP089-09

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Lonchoptera bifurcata

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAG9974

108/150: Dead moose, buffet, fighting arena, or dance floor? For waltzing flies, it’s all the above

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Piophilidae: Piophilinae: Prochyliza: Prochyliza xanthostoma (Walker, 1849)

This North American fly occurs in forests, aggregating around moose carcasses as they are carrion feeders. Females will wait on vegetation surrounding a carcass and watch males combat on the carcass. The flies are sexually dimorphic and males have larger antennae, head capsules, and foretarsi for competing in combat. Continue reading “108/150: Dead moose, buffet, fighting arena, or dance floor? For waltzing flies, it’s all the above”

89/150: Bizarre parenting brought to you by the Bot Fly

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Oestridae: Cuterebra: Cuterebra fontinella (Clark, 1827)

Nothing says parenting like leaving your young in the flesh of mammals to grow up. Members of the genus Cuterebra can be found parasitizing different hosts, but they all share the same process of parasitism. Adult bot flies are non-feeding with vestigial mouthparts that evolution rendered unusable. That leaves mating as their main goal for their life stage. Males wait for females and will mate with them in air. Females locate an area where hosts visit frequently through chemical cues, and will lay around 1200-4000 eggs. Being able to respond to changes in temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations, the larvae will hatch in response to the presence of a host, and aim to enter the host through the nostrils or open wounds. Once in a host, larvae will go through many stages of growth called instars and then drop out of the host and pupate in the ground. Finally, they emerge as adults ready to start the process again. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

An adult Cuterebra fontinella. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
A Cuterebra larva that would typically be found within the skin of mice and other rodents. Photo Credit: Sean McCann goo.gl/G8f53g

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  BBDEC095-09

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Bot Fly

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAH0836

79/150: Flying, with its legs! – The Phantom Crane fly

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Ptychopteridae: Bittacomorpha clavipes (Fabricus, 1781)

No, that’s not a giant black mosquito. The Ptychopteridae family, (phantom crane flies), are a small family of Nemotocera (“longhorned flies”) related to mosquitos, true crane flies and blackflies. A common North American species, Bittacomorpha clavipes, is found east of the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading “79/150: Flying, with its legs! – The Phantom Crane fly”

22/150: Stalk-eyed flies, where hypercephaly is sexy!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Diopsidae: Sphyracephala: Sphyracephala subbifasciata (Fitch, 1855)

Sphyracephala subbifasciata is one of two species found in Canada from the family Diopsidae (Diptera). Their common name, stalk-eyed flies, comes from the presence of their eyes at the end of an elongated stalk, giving them the look of a drastically long hammerhead. Continue reading “22/150: Stalk-eyed flies, where hypercephaly is sexy!”

Busy Barcoding Bees Building Blitzes

Hello again faithful readers,

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, and a lot has happened! I’m sure you know all about the 6th Barcode of Life Conference that happened a few weeks ago from the other blogs, but I’ll give you a bit of a refresher. It was busy, crowded with fervent biologists, and a great melting pot of ideas and experiences to advance the state of DNA barcoding all over the world. Continue reading “Busy Barcoding Bees Building Blitzes”

Aquatic and Worm Sampling in Bruce Peninsula National Park

After a successful week of sampling at Long Point Provincial Park, the BIObus was off to Bruce Peninsula National Park. The Bruce Peninsula divides Georgian Bay from the main basin of Lake Huron, and has some very unique aquatic ecosystems where interesting species can be found. We sampled a variety of these habitats which included creeks, marshes, ponds and lakes. Continue reading “Aquatic and Worm Sampling in Bruce Peninsula National Park”

Microscope Imaging And Plankton Sampling

After completing the imaging for the Saudi Arabian specimens, we are starting the next material in our queue, the Argentina, Russia, and Costa Rica Global Malaise Projects. Continue reading “Microscope Imaging And Plankton Sampling”

Exposing Kinaskan

Hello Blog followers, it is I, Martin, your humble BIObus crew member here to enthrall you with yet another gripping regalement of our adventures around Northern British Columbia. If you are following these blogs with the weekly hunger that draws you back to read these blogs for every post you may remember that last week I spellbindingly explained the safety behind meeting our large furry friend, the bear, in the woods. This week I’ll go a little deeper in to what I very much enjoy doing on the BIObus. Continue reading “Exposing Kinaskan”

Collecting!… I can at Kinaskan

So it has been a somewhat interesting past week, with some unexpected bumps in the road. During our time at the beautiful Kluane National Park, I started to notice a little sore spot in my mouth. To be more specific the gum area around one of my wisdom teeth. However this did not really bother me too much as my mind was enveloped by the magnificent landscape, and the work at hand. Continue reading “Collecting!… I can at Kinaskan”