Ottawa Entomology Club

The Ottawa Entomology Club meets at 7:30 p.m. every 3rd Thursday of the month at the K. W. Neatby (Agriculture Canada) building on the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. There are 7 meetings a year -- September to November, and then January to April. At the end of each meeting, the topic for the next meeting is announced.

The Club’s turnout for meetings is about 20 to 50. Many meeting attendees work for various parts of the federal government, such as the Canadian Forestry Service, Agriculture Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Museum of Nature. Both of the current co-organizers, Hume Douglas and Vasily Grebennikov, work for the CFIA. Many other meeting attendees are retired government entomologists, as well as faculty and students in entomology from Carleton University. Together about 80% of the attendees are professionals of some sort, and maybe 20% are amateurs.

Each month’s talk lasts for 50 minutes, preceeded by announcements and general discussion of what club participants have been doing. One type of talk is given by students who are in the job market, and takes a more technical tone, similar to a presentation at a professional conference. However, many of the talks are given by amateurs or people already employed in entomology, and they usually take the form of “the story behind the story”, with some travelogue, information about good collecting sites, and anecdotes about the work – after all, people interested in all of the technical details can refer to the published paper. A lot of the function of the meetings is social, since there is a time to meet and talk with other people both before and after the meetings.

The Club does not bring any speakers into Ottawa for the meetings, but many are people visiting Ottawa, perhaps to work with the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes (CNC) or the Canadian Museum of Nature. One of the 2010-2011 speakers was Henri Goulet of the CNC, who talked about his work in the mountains of the NWT and the good collecting spots.

The Club was started in about 1975 at Carleton University by Henry Howden. In the mid-1990s, the Club moved to Agriculture Canada. The Club’s posters advertising poster for meetings records notes the number of each meeting in the new (Agriculture Canada) series of talks. So, the meeting “(N.S.) Act 105” is the 105th talk in the new series.

There is a close connection between the club and the Ottawa Field Naturalists (OFN). Perhaps 20-30% of their members also belong to the OFN. Hume and others from the Club have led field trips for the OFN or its sister club for junior naturalists, the Macoun Field Club.

The Club maintains an email list to distribute information about future meetings, and about 125 people are now on the list. Anyone who wants to join the free list should contact Hume Douglas (Hume.Douglas (at)

The meeting dates for the 2011-12 year are September 15, October 20, November 17 and 2012: January 19, February 16, March 15, and April 19.

To illustrate the range of topics covered by our meetings, here are the 2010-11 meetings (now over):

Ottawa Entomology Club (N.S.) Act 99. "Early Career Entomology: Presentations by undergraduate students working at CNC." Melissa Kohlman, Tanya Lynn, Catherine Proulx, Tian Wu. Thursday September 16 2010

Ottawa Entomology Club (N.S.) Act 100. "The blind cave beetle that isn’t: Evidence of functional photoreceptors in Ptomaphagus hirtus." Prof. Markus Friedrich, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI Thursday October 21, 2010

Ottawa Entomology Club (N.S.) Act 101. "A voyage of entomological exploration in the land of the Inuit in the Northwest Territories." Henri Goulet, CNC. Thursday November 18 2010

Ottawa Entomology Club (N.S.) Act 102. "Conopidae –The Fly of a Thousand Faces." Joel Gibson, Carleton University & CNC. Thursday January 20 2011

Ottawa Entomology Club (N.S.) Act 103. "Chasing & studying microgastrine wasps around the world." José Fernández-Triana, CNC & University of Guelph. Thursday February 17 2011

Ottawa Entomology Club (N.S.) Act 104. "he Indus River: from up to down. Insects and other biodiversity from the Palearctic to the Oriental region." Elena Kreuzberg. Thursday March 17 2011

Ottawa Entomology Club (N.S.) Act 105. "How the ladybird changed her spots: The remarkable intraspecific elytral variation of Harmonia axyridis." Philip Astles. Thursday April 21 2011

Links to posters for the above now-over meetings are provided below: