145/150: Coneheads. (No, I’m not talking about the nineties movie)

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


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Protura

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

91/150: Don’t impede this millipede!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Diplopoda: Polyxenida: Polyxenidae: Polyxenus: Polyxenus lagurus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bristle millipedes live in dark and damp habitats like logs and soil that other millipedes also call home. Unlike other millipedes, bristle millipedes grow spikes like a porcupine because they lack the chemical defenses possessed by most millipedes. Continue reading “91/150: Don’t impede this millipede!”

47/150: I’m a very tiny decomposer but play a vital part in making sure plants grow!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Diplura: Rhabdura: Campodeidae

Diplurans, also known as two-pronged bristletails, are commonly found in moist soil or leaf litter. They are sometimes mistaken for earwigs, but can be distinguished from one another because diplurans have no eyes! Continue reading “47/150: I’m a very tiny decomposer but play a vital part in making sure plants grow!”