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Next Meeting

Saturday, November 19, 2016. 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm. Sixth Annual Quimby F. Hess Lecture. Royal Ontario Museum Theatre.
May Berenbaum

The event is free but registration is required. A reception for TEA members will follow the event.

Explore the honey behind the honey bee. From wax production to thermoregulation to colony defense, honey is an important source of energy for the European honey bee. With increasing evidence that phytochemicals produced by plants may contribute to honey bee health by influencing behavior and by enhancing defense against toxins and microbes, discover what these challenges mean for honey bees and the potential consequences for colony health.

Prof. Berenbaum is the president of the Entomological Society of America and head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is known for her contributions to the field of chemical ecology, particularly the chemical mediation of interactions between plant-feeding insects and their host plants. She has testified before Congress on issues relating to honey bee health and pollinator decline. Her books for the general public include a honey cookbook and: Ninety-Nine Gnats, Nits, and Nibblers; Ninety-Nine More Maggots, Mites, and Munchers; Bugs in the System: Insects and Their Impact on Human Affairs; Buzzwords: A Scientist Muses on Sex, Bugs, and Rock 'n' Roll; and The Earwig's Tail: A Modern Bestiary of Multi-legged Legends. More information is included in this press release and on her university webpage.

Quimby F. Hess was a TEA president and a member of the TEA for over 40 years. This lecture is sponsored in his memory by his children, Jane and Robert Hess. The public are invited. A member of Quimby Hess' family will say a few words about his life. After the talk, there will be a free reception for the lecturer, TEA members and their guests, and the Hess family.

Enter through the main doors of the ROM on Bloor Street. Admission is free: after you register for the ROM website, your name will be on a list, and you will be given an armband giving you access to the ROM Theatre only.


Other Insect Activities and News

Fall bulletin of the Entomological Society of Canada.

Fall 2016 - Royal Canadian Institute Science Talks University of Toronto - Medical Sciences Building - Macleod Auditorium Mosquitoes: How a few nasty species gave the entire family a bad name Oct 23 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Fiona Hunter Mosquitoes have an important role to play in the ecosystem but this is usually overshadowed by the attention given to nuisance biters and disease vectors. We will explore the beauty and behaviours of both “good” and “bad” species, with an emphasis on West Nile and Zika virus transmission. Fiona received her BSc and MSc degrees from University of Toronto and then went on to complete her PhD in Biology at Queen’s University. Throughout her academic career she has studied a wide variety of biting flies but she and her students now spend most of their time studying mosquitoes, no-see-ums and ticks. Fiona has taught at Brock University for over 20 years. She is a former Director of the Wildlife Research Station in Algonquin Park and now runs a Containment Level 3 (CL3) lab at Brock where studies on live, infected, mosquitoes are conducted.

A new 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 2017 issue - December 15; April 2017 issue - March 15th; and September 2017 issue - August 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.

Our seasonal summary for the year 2015, Ontario Lepidoptera, was published in April 2016. The 2016 summary is expected to be published in March 2017.


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.