Fishes/Herptiles Collections

The Department of Biological Sciences houses a diverse research collection of specimens from Manitoba and around the world.

Curator: Margaret Docker: Margaret.Docker@umanitoba.ca

Specimen Spotlight

MZH 328: Phrynosoma hernandesi/Phrynosoma douglassii

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Collected by S. G. Sealy at 49 00N and 110 27W, 02- Aug- 1963 (photographs by J. Stacey)

Phrynosoma hernandesi (once known as Phyrnosoma douglassii) is often called “horned toad” due to its stocky body form and horny spines. It can be difficult to find in its grasslands habitat due to its cryptic coloration. For information on the general biology of Short-horned Lizards, see this article by National Geographic (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/horned-toad/) or this one at the Animal Diversity Web (http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Phrynosoma_douglassii).

According to Parks Canada, Phrynosoma hernandesi is found in only ten locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan and has been designated “at risk”. For information on the status and the recovery strategy of the Eastern Short-horned Lizard in Alberta, see information from Environment Canada (http://40mile.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Summary-of-the-Proposed-Greater-Short-horned-Lizard-RS-October-2014.pdf)

Collection Story

In 1963, Professor Emeritus Spencer Sealy was an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta. That summer he worked as an assistant to the game biologists of the Alberta Fish and Game Wildlife Division, spending several days at the Manyberries range station. The area, a short distance from the border with Montana and Saskatchewan, was rich in dinosaur fossils.

On August 2nd, biologist George Mitchell took Sealy to a short grass prairie area “ in the middle of nowhere. ” In addition to the scorpions they had hoped to observe, the pair found this specimen which was collected and preserved. Sealy added the specimen to the Stewart-Hay collection when he started his faculty position here at the University of Manitoba.

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Professor Emeritus Spencer Sealy

Upcoming Seminars

General seminar: Wesley Ogloff, MSc defense: “Climate change-related shifts in species interactions and diet in an Arctic marine ecosystem” — Tuesday, July 31 at 9 a.m., 304 Biological Sciences.

General seminar: Elise Couillard, MSc Defense: “Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) awareness of neighbours' vigilance is spatially explicit” — Wednesday, August 1 at 8:45 a.m., 304 Biological Sciences.

General seminar: Muriel Magnaye, MSc Defense: “Growth and post-spawning survival in capelin (Mallotus villosus) on the northeast coast of Newfoundland” — Wednesday, August 15 at 11 a.m., 304 Biological Sciences.

General seminar: Gabrielle Grenier, MSc Defense: “Seasonal patterns of growth in Arctic Charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.); differences between morphs of Cumberland Sound populations” — Thursday, August 23 at noon, 304 Biological Sciences.