Provincial Partner

What we do

Annual lecture
Butterfly atlas
Moth Atlas
Moth Checklist
Contribute Records
Other Publications
Field trips
Insect counts
Student symposium
Research grant

About the TEA

Rearing Permit
Membership / Donate

About insects

Insects of Ontario
Endangered sp. / Laws
Butterfly Gardening

Contact us

For Ontario Nature

Herp Atlas

Meetings 2022

Meetings are over for the season and will resume in September. In the meantime, enjoy our field trips as well as butterfly counts and odonate counts.


Recent meetings

Saturday, May 28, 2022. 1:15 pm. By Zoom.
Carol Pasternak

See video of the meeting.

Imagine holding a monarch butterfly in your hand! That’s what you’ll be able to do if you raise them yourself. At this fun workshop, author/educator Carol Pasternak, aka The Monarch Crusader, will teach you everything you need to know to raise your own monarchs. She will delight you with details of this incredible insect’s life cycle from egg to butterfly, along with its amazing migration to Mexico. Discover the perils it faces, and how you can help. We’ll also talk about how to bring other butterflies to your garden.

Carol Pasternak is an author, teacher, photographer and sought after speaker who has been raising monarch butterflies with her families for 40 years. In her free time, she can be found in ditches, meadows and forests, scouring every crevice for signs of wildlife. She encourages others to become conservation activists through her Facebook Page The Monarch Crusader. Her book "How To Raise Monarch Butterflies A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids," has sold 50,000 copies and received international acclaim. She has just launched her new book, "5 Butterflies" (Fitzhenry and Whiteside), which inspires young people to pause their devices so they can explore, and thereby love and conserve, our natural world.



Saturday, April 23, 2022. 1:15 pm. By Zoom
Jeremy Kerr, Department of Biology University of Ottawa

See video of the meeting.

Land use and climate change changes pose extraordinary risks for many species, including many insects, leading to debate over an impending “insect apocalypse”. There should be no debate, however, that extinction rates have risen to levels last seen at the end of the age of the dinosaurs. While the processes and mechanisms that govern how some threats contribute to extinction risk are clear, the "how" and "why" of climate-driven risks remain uncertain. As climate changes, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events have risen, but could such events affect species' extinction risks? We have developed a new technique to measure those effects, called "thermal position index", drawing on fundamental theories in ecology and evolutionary biology. With rising prevalence of extreme weather, we have found evidence that species' extinction risks have risen, such as among bumblebee species in Europe and North America. By identifying mechanisms that contribute to extinction risk, we might be able to manage risks more effectively. This work has now been validated in analyses of population trends among vertebrates globally. In a warming world, understanding how to mitigate risks for species conservation, including especially insects that commonly have shorter life cycles, could help slow extinction rates.

Saturday, March 26, 2022. 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (now over)
Graduate students from Ontario universities

Speakers: Kelly Murray-Stoker (caddisfly diversity in urban environments); Britney Picinic (mosquito excretion after blood meals); Thomas Hall (weevil and the control of garlic mustard); Zach Balzer (response of termites to carbon dioxide); Sisley Irwin (wilding of urban meadows and diversity); Jinghan Tan (internal biology of mosquitoes); Jocelyn Armistead (bumble bee collection methods); and Jesse Huisken (cooperation in carpenter bees). See agenda and abstracts.

Saturday, February 26, 2022 (now over)
Chris Schmidt, Research Scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

See video of the meeting. The talk starts at about the 5-minute mark and lasts for an hour. The first part of the talk is mostly about life history strategies of moths. Biogeography of moths in Ontario starts at 38 minutes, and moth mysteries start at 58 minutes. The question period starts at 1:04. Questions include: the value of iNaturalist to his research (1:10); habitats that need more surveying, such as wetlands (1:19); and using light sources to attract moths, including black light fluorescents and LepiLEDs (1:12 and 1:24 to 1:26 -- three questions).



June 1-3, 2022. Insect Biotech Conference, Niagara on the Lake. Registration is $250 or $350.

"Controlling the DD Moth [Lymantria dispar dispar]" by Clement Kent. A 5-page article from the December 2021 issue of the TEA's newsletter, Ontario Insects.

The latest newsletter of the Alberta Lepidopterists' Guide was published in December 2021.

For videos of our past meetings -- see the meetings page. And here's Pedro Pereya's video of an ant queen shedding her wings, which was shared during the October meeting.

At the September 25, 2021 meeting, the new executive was elected: Bipin Dhinsa, President; Alan Macnaughton, Vice-President; and Albert Tomchyshyn, Secretary. Chris Rickard did not stand for re-election as Treasurer but will act in that position for the time being.

Latest Bulletin (December 2021) of the Entomological Society of Canada. Amateurs can join the ESC (and have access to the Society's scientific journal The Canadian Entomologist) under the"entomology enthusiast" category (as of 2021, $56.25 per year).

Rick Cavasin of Ottawa, sponsor of the Ontario Butterflies website and author of various fold-out butterfly guides, has won the Entomological Society of Canada's Norman Criddle Award. This award is to recognize the contribution of an outstanding non-professional entomologist to the furtherance of entomology in Canada. See page 132 of the latest ESC Bulletin for a full description of Rick's accomplishments.

Karen Yukich wins Ontario Nature's W. W. H. Gunn Conservation Award "for her dedication to the restoration and conservation of nature in Toronto's High Park."

This past summer a group including former TEA president Jessica Linton worked at re-introducing the Mottled Duskywing butterfly to its former habitat in the Pinery Provincial Park. This is part of an $825,000, 5-year project to reintroduce this endangered species. Currently, the mottled duskywing lives in only a few pockets in the province, including populations near Peterborough and around Oakville. See the University of Guelph announcement and the June 2021 issue of the TEA's newsletter Ontario Insects for details.

See the article Tiger Swallowtails: Making Observations in 2020 for tips on recording tiger swallowtail observations this spring and summer. In short, anyone making observations south of the Sudbury area should take pictures -- especially of the underside -- and not rely on sight observation.

The TEA seasonal summaries for 2020 and 2021 are in preparation and are expected to be released in 2022.

Monarch rearing/rescue article. This is from the January 2020 OI.

Spiders of Toronto. This is a revised version (2018) and is part of the City of Toronto's Biodiversity Series.

When Alan Wormington passed away, he left behind a mostly-completed 130-page manuscript on the butterflies of Point Pelee National Park. Ross Layberry has filled in many of the gaps, and here is the modified manuscript. We hope that in the future, it will be possible to fully complete the manuscript and publish it under TEA auspices. Contact Alan Macnaughton or Bill Lamond for more details.

Annotated checklist of the moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska. January 2018. 580-page PDF is free - buy hardcover at Pensoft

Latest Newsletter of the Entomological Society of Ontario. Amateurs can join the ESO for free.

An article on the Azure blues of Ontario has 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.

Deadlines for submission to our newsletter: April 2021 issue - March 15; and September 2021 issue - August 15; January 2022 issue - December 15;

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


Contact us

For inquiries about insects or our organization, please contact our general mailbox info@ontarioinsects.org and we will find the right person to answer your question.





The TEA is an affiliated group of ProtectNatureTO, a new group which is working towards preserving Toronto's natural heritage. Karen Yukich of the TEA is an active member of this group.


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

Do you have Ontario butterfly records that you could make available to the TEA? Over 400 people now contribute records to us annually, which we use to produce the Ontario Butterfly Atlas and an annual seasonal summary (Ontario Lepidoptera ) of records for each species for the just-completed year. The seasonal summary also serves as a forum for notes and articles on aspects of biology, distribution, behaviour, survey work, etc. Photographs are also welcome, especially of significant records. Submit your records, notes, articles and photographs to Ross Layberry(rosslayberry@yahoo.ca) or Colin Jones (colin.jones@ontario.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.

More information on the summary, how to submit records, and a downloadable records template can be found at this link or by contacting any of the people above.

Ontario records of odonata are also welcomed. We do not have an odonata atlas or a seasonal summary at the moment, but we like to get there. More information on how to submit records, and a downloadable records template, can be obtained from Colin Jones (colin.jones@ontario.ca).


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

Many older TEA publications are now available for free download on our publications page. This includes all back issues of our annual seasonal summary (Ontario Lepidoptera), other than the two most recent issues -- over 2,000 pages of observations spanning more than 35 years. Copies of our newsletter (Ontario Insects) from 1994 to 2015 are also available.

Our Association

The Toronto Entomologists' Association (TEA) 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 TEA 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.

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. test Atlas (testindex.html)