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Saturday, February 23, 2019. 1:15 pm. Room 432, Ramsay Wright Laboratories, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street
Termites are an ancient group of social cockroaches with more than three thousand species described globally. One of these species has invaded the City of Toronto, becoming so entrenched, it is now practically ineradicable. The Eastern subterranean termite has since spread to other municipalities across the southwest of Ontario, and does well in cold climes when in close proximity to human habitation.
So, what makes termites such a persistent pest and successful invader? Well, though at no fault of their own, most termites do tend to eat wood and they have done so for hundreds of millions of years. This naturally predisposes some species to attack the very wood we use to build our homes and neighborhoods. What's more, termites are a highly social insect – that is, they live in densely-populated groups of close kin that forage, reproduce and defend as a collective unit, much like bees or ants. Termite colonies are therefore resilient to attack – an element of their social biology that is not lost on pest control companies.
It's not all bad though! Termites are actually quite loveable creatures when viewed in their own light. While the focus of my talk is on termites as the urban pest in Toronto, I will also point-out some of their more admirable and evolutionarily-interesting features, as revealed through our own research at Western University.
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.
Other Insect Activities and News
The latest issue of Ontario Lepidoptera, reporting on butterfly and moth observations for 2017, was distributed in June 2018.
Latest Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Canada.
Latest Newsletter of the Entomological Society of Ontario
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: January 2019 issue - December 15; April 2019 issue - March 15; and September 2019 issue - August 15;
The publications "Butterflies of Toronto" and "Spiders of Toronto" have been posted online. Copies are also available in Toronto public libraries.
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.
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.
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 Online 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(firstname.lastname@example.org), Jessica Linton (JessicaLinton86@gmail.com) or Colin Jones (email@example.com). 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 705-755-2166.
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.
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.
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.
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.