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Ontario Insects newsletter
Butterfly atlas
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Insects of Ontario
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Next Meeting

Meetings are over for the summer, but they will resume in September. In the meantime please check out the field trips and insect counts. See the links on the left of this page.


Other Insect Activities and News

A new article on the Azure blues of Ontario has just been published by Chris Schmidt and Ross Layberry. This article proposes big changes for the classifications of this genus. See this page for a summary of the article.

Saturday, May 7, native plant sale, North American Native Plant Society, Markham Civic Centre, 10am - 3 pm.

May 13 noon - May 14 noon, BioBlitz at the Durham East Cross Forest just outside of Port Perry, Oakridges Moraine land trust.

Saturday, May 14, native plant sale, 11am -4pm, Woodbine subway station.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - Let it Bee - Helping wild bees in the city Learn how you can help native bees in the city, 6:30p.m. - 8:30p.m. North Yorjk Council Chambers, Toronto.

May 27 noon - May 28 noon, BioBlitz at the McLeod Woods Nature Reserve in Aurora, Oakridges Moraine land trust.

Sunday, May 29, native plant sale, noon - 4pm, Christie subway station.

Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12, 2016 Ontario BioBlitz in the Credit River Watershed.

July 2016. exhibition of earrly entomology books for the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto

Saturday July 9, 2016 from 8 to noon. Spider ID workshop is being held at the Nature Centre, Royal Botanical Gardens ( 680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON). Register in advance at www.rbg.ca

August 26 and 27, insect and spider specimen preparation courses, Toronto.

Deadlines for submission to our newsletter: April 2016 Issue- March 15th; September 2016 Issue- August 15; and January 2017- December 15.

This note arrived from Max Larrivée, eastern Canadian coordinator for the Lepidopterists' Society annual records summary: "See this excel spreadsheet (and the explanation of how to use it)for the LepSoc summary whre you can record all your moths observations and email them back to me (maximlarrivee@gmail.com) ideally before xmas. I encourage you to add lat and long to your records if possible. It gives the records much more scientific value."

The publications "Butterflies of Toronto" and "Spiders of Toronto" have been posted online. Copies are also available in Toronto public libraries.

Read more Ontario insect news: see the Fall 2015 newsletter of the Entomological Society of Ontario. Also see the December 2015 newsletter (the Bulletin) of the Entomological Society of Canada.

Our seasonal summary for the year 2014, Ontario Lepidoptera, was published in July 2015. The 2015 summary is expected to be published in March.


Try out www.e-butterfly.org, a website for entering and displaying butterfly records put together by Maxim Larrivée of the Montreal Insectarium. The TEA is one of the sponsoring organizations. All Ontario data is provided to the TEA seasonal summaries and butterfly atlas project, so “eButterfly” provides an alternative way to store and submit your data. The hope is that this will be easier than entering the data yourself on a spreadsheet, as his site saves each person’s own past butterfly monitoring sites and allows the species observed to be checked off from a provincial species list. eButterfly now accepts records from all across Canada and the US. The TEA has received about 55,00 records records from eButterfly, which is about 20% of all data used in the TEA's butterfly atlas.

Keep in mind that all records submitted to eButterfly are plotted as exact points on the publicly-accessible eButterfly maps, unless you specifically ask for the data to be recorded as “sensitive” or “confidential.” This may be important if you are submitting records of endangered species or you are reporting data from areas for which there is no public access.


Records needed for seasonal summaries

Do you have butterfly and/or odonate (dragonfly and damselfly) records that you would like to submit to the annual provincial summaries? The Toronto Entomologists’ Association (T.E.A.) produces two annual summaries (Ontario Lepidoptera and Ontario Odonata) that serve to compile and summarize the records of these insect groups across the province of Ontario. These publications also serve as a forum for notes and articles on aspects of biology, distribution, behaviour, survey work, etc. Photographs are also welcome, especially of significant records.

Every fall and winter, the Editors and Compilers of Ontario Lepidoptera solicit records, notes, articles and photographs from last season. More information on the summary, how to submit records, and a downloadable records template can be found at this link or by contacting Colin Jones (colin.jones@ontario.ca, Tel 705-755-2166), Jessica Linton (JessicaLinton86@gmail.com) or Ross Layberry(rosslayberry@yahoo.ca)). We encourage people to submit records by December 31, but records for inclusion in the atlas database are welcome at any time -- data from years ago is valuable as well.

The Editors and Compilers of Ontario Odonata are currently soliciting records, notes, articles and photographs from the 2006-2014 seasons. The plan is to combine the records from these years into a single volume with a new format. More information on the summary, how to submit records, and a downloadable records template can be found by contacting Colin Jones (colin.jones@ontario.caTel: 705-755-2166).

The editors and compilers of both summaries are also interested in receiving any and all records from previous years that have not yet been submitted so that they can be added to the atlas databases.

Past Lepidoptera summaries from 1969 to 2012 are available for download at this link.

MNR Permit

Raise or collect monarch butterflies or swallowtails? Anyone who is involved in these activities needs a permit. Contact us if you are a TEA member and want to be covered by the club's permit.

Our Publications

Ontario Lepidoptera 2011 appeared in print in April 2012: the latest of our butterfly summaries; moths are also included in years when a volunteer is available.

The Bumble Bees of Algonquin Provincial Park: A Field Guide -- also new November 2010.

Checklist of the Butterflies of the Toronto Region, 3rd edition, 2007. Includes flight seasons. Compiled by Barry Harrison. Available as a free download.

Many older TEA publications are now available for free download on our publications page. This includes all back issues of our annual seasonal summary other than the two most recent issues -- over 2,000 pages of observations spanning more than 30 years. Copies of our Ontario Insects newsjournal from 1994 to 2005 are also available.

Our Association

The Toronto Entomologists' Association (T.E.A.) welcomes everyone who is interested in the insects of Ontario. We are an association of mostly amateur entomologists. Although our meetings are held in Toronto, we extend far beyond that in our field trips, our membership, and our seasonal summaries. Come to our meetings, join us on our field trips, purchase our publications, apply for the research grant, join us! The T.E.A. is a registered charity and a non-profit educational and scientific organization formed to promote interest in insects, to encourage co-operation among amateur and professional entomologists, to educate and inform non-entomologists about insects, entomology and related fields, to aid in the preservation of insects and their habitats and to issue publications in support of these objectives.

Membership in the TEA

Anyone with an interest in insects is encouraged to join the Toronto Entomologists' Association. Please see our Membership Page for more details.

Help Insect Artists, Researchers and Authors

Volunteers needed: We are seeking to build a network of volunteers to help us survey butterflies in 13 regions that our previous research is predicting will be most impacted by global changes. The goal is to develop long term monitoring of these 13 regions and build a website through which Canadian lepidopterists share and view their observations. Contact Maxim Larrivée of the Department of Biology of the University of Ottawa at mlarrive@uottawa.ca or (613) 562-5800 x2594.

Do you have an old insect collection you are not using? Amy Swartz of Toronto is looking for dead insects, including pinned ones, that she can make into works of art. She has a Master of Fine Art degree and teaches at the Toronto School of Art. She has done 64 insect pieces so far (see picture below) and she would like to do more. She will pay for shipment costs.


Tiger moth study. Specimens, data and photos of the Spotted tussock moth (L. maculata) are sought by Ken Strothkamp, Lewis & Clark College, Oregon.

Be a pollinator observer: Pollination Canada is looking for people who will record pollinator types and numbers repeatedly at a specific location. Observations can be for as little as 10 minutes at a time. TEA members would be a great fit for this research task.

DNA barcoding: Paul Hebert of the University of Guelph is leading a research group which is attempting to identify all lepidoptera species through a segment of their DNA. For this purpose, he needs to obtain up to 5 specimens of each species. For details on the species needed, see the Excel spreadsheet, which is derived from Paul Hebert's Barcode of Life site.

Did You Know?

TEA member Don Davis holds the Guiness Record for documenting the "longest migration of a butterfly." A monarch he tagged and released at Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Brighton, Ontario in September 1986 was recovered alive the following April at Austin, Texas, having spent the winter in Mexico at the overwintering sites.

Stay in Touch!

We can send you regular emails about coming activities -- join the list. You will be informed of meetings, insect counts, and field trips.