148/150: Learn more about this Canadian rarity

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Larentiinae: Xanthorhoini: Xanthorhoe clarkeata (Douglas Ferguson, 1987)

The Xanthorhoe clarkeata are a newly discovered species of geometrid moth as of 1987. They live primarily on the Haida Gwaii Islands of British Columbia. This species is likely endemic to only these islands, making it a rare and unique species to Canada. Much like most geometrid moths, the females of X. clarkeata are totally wingless! The odd traits don’t end there, the unusual larval form of geometrid moths are known as inchworms. They gain their name from their interesting looping movement pattern thanks to a complete lack of legs in their middle section. Since the caterpillars only have two pairs of rear legs and three pairs of front legs, they anchor their rear legs, extend, and pull their body forward with their front legs giving the appearance of “inching” forward or “measuring” the earth as they walk. The movement of the caterpillars also gives way to their Greek family name: “Geometridae” or “earth measurer”. There are 2,188 geometrid moths with barcodes on BOLD. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen CNCLEP00034073 – Graham Island, British Columbia – 27-Jul-1981. Photo Credit: Jeremy deWaard, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Specimen CCDB-20269-B09 – Graham Island, British Columbia – 27-Jul-1985. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: LNAUS1730-13

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Xanthorhoe clarkeata

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAH9158

116/150: The questionable habits of the Question Mark Butterfly

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Nymphalinae: Polygonia: Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius 1798)

When thinking of territorial animals, the first ones that come to mind likely aren’t butterflies. The adult males of the question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) will defend their territory on trees they have perched on. Continue reading “116/150: The questionable habits of the Question Mark Butterfly”

101/150: Not a banana, not a mango, it’s a pawpaw fruit!

Plantae: Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Magnoliales: Annonaceae: Asimina: Asimina triloba Linnaeus, Dunal

What do you get when you cross the taste of a banana with the look and texture of a mango? A pawpaw fruit! Believe it or not, the tropical-looking pawpaw tree, which is native to North America, gives the largest tree berry in all of North America. When blossoming, the common pawpaw (Asimina tribola) can give off an unpleasant odour. Continue reading “101/150: Not a banana, not a mango, it’s a pawpaw fruit!”

61/150: Some caterpillars love to eat insects!

animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Miletinae: Feniseca: Feniseca tarquinius (Fabricius, 1793)

When thinking of a typical caterpillar, you may picture one happily munching away on leaves. Not all caterpillars, however, feed on plants. The caterpillars of the harvester butterfly (Feniseca tarquinius) are actually insectivorous, meaning they feed on insects. Continue reading “61/150: Some caterpillars love to eat insects!”

44/150: I’ve got black tiger stripes and can be found all over Canada!

animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Lepidoptera: Papilionidae: Papilioninae: Papilio: Papilio canadensis (Rothschild & Jordan, 1906)

Commonly known as the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio canadensis is one of the most well-known butterflies in Canada because of its large size (wingspan of 7-10 cm) and distinctive pattern (yellow with black tiger stripes). They are found in all provinces with ranges extending to the north of the Arctic Circle in Yukon, Ontario, and Quebec. Continue reading “44/150: I’ve got black tiger stripes and can be found all over Canada!”

14/150: Woolly Bear Caterpillars Surviving Winter

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae: Gynaephora: Gynaephora groenlandica (Homeyer., 1874)

Tired of winter? Get some tips on winter survival from the Arctic Woolly Bear caterpillar (Gynaephora groenlandica). Did you know this caterpillar lives up to 7 (some suggest 14) years before pupating into a moth? Continue reading “14/150: Woolly Bear Caterpillars Surviving Winter”

Mr. Warne Goes to Washington

For two weeks in October, Jeremy DeWaard (BIO Collections Director), PhD student Jacopo D’Ercole and myself escaped the confines of BIO and Canada, and traveled to Washington D.C. We packed ourselves into a white Subaru around 6:45am and began the plodding 10 hour journey by car to the District of Columbia, a trip that only seems to become real when you hit the border at Buffalo. Continue reading “Mr. Warne Goes to Washington”

Catching Moths In The Night

Hey Folks!

Long time no blog. We have been super busy here at BIO in the past few weeks.  Between field work, the rare BioBlitz, and the Barcoding Conference, it has been pretty crazy here lately! There will be lots of blogs coming your way from our staff about all these fun topics.   I myself have been doing a lot of night collecting in the form of Bucket Traps and Night Sheets. Continue reading “Catching Moths In The Night”

rare Arthropods

Hello everyone, this past week at BIO, among many other things going on, we finished our standardized sampling at rare Charitable Research Reserve. This was our second sampling event since we had previously sampled the same sites at rare in the late spring. Continue reading “rare Arthropods”

Delving into Darkwoods

For the past few weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to start exploring the insect biodiversity of Canada’s largest privately owned nature conservancy: Darkwoods. Owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Darkwoods is a 136,000-acre tract of land located near Salmo, British Columbia in the heart of the Selkirk mountain range. Continue reading “Delving into Darkwoods”