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

Next Meeting

Meetings are over for the summer and will resume in September. In the meantime consider attending our insect counts and field trips.


Saturday, November 23, 2024. 1 pm - 2:30 pm. Tenth Annual Quimby F. Hess Lecture. Royal Ontario Museum Theatre.
Stephen Marshall, University of Guelph

A reception for TEA members and the Hess family will follow the lecture.

This event is free but you must pre-register on the ROM website [LINK NOT YET AVAILABLE]. Under "Buy Tickets," choose "Public (RSVP Only): Free” (unless you have a ROM membership). Enter through the President's Choice School Entrance (group entrance), which is at the back of the ROM along Queen's Park. Please note that registering for this lecture does not grant you entry into museum galleries.

New discoveries are always on the horizon for those interested in insects and their names, with potential discoveries ranging from the routine pleasure of finding a species "new to you" through to the thrill of recognizing a species, genus, or even a family new to science. Such discoveries are interesting in their own right, but they also reflect the state of biodiversity knowledge by illustrating what we do and don't know about temperate and tropical insect diversity. Examples drawn from specialized revisions of insect genera and broader "popular" reviews of familiar insect orders suggest that the seemingly boundless diversity of the megadiverse insect orders will remain a source of inspiration and exciting discovery for generations to come.

Prof. Marshall is the author of two editions of a book on the natural history and diversity of insects, a visual guide to insects, and 3 recent books on beetles, flies and Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). The Hymenoptera book is the most recent and most relevant volume. See this page for a full list.

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 and their respective spouses Laura and John. The public are invited.


Past Meeting Recordings

Saturday, March 23, 2024. 1 pm - 3:30 pm. By Zoom.

At this meeting, university students give short talks about their current research on insects. This year we have seven students from three different universities, with some really fascinating topics – the effect of urbanization and hybridization on Orange Sulphurs and Clouded Sulphurs, how parasites can lead semi-aquatic insects like backswimmers to cannibalism, studying spongy moths & Emerald Ash Borers for potential biocontrol, ecological interactions of native pollinators like bees & wasps, the mass-emergence times of different mayfly species, looking at water quality and climate change in the Holocene through studying the midge populations of that time, arthropod and fungal communities in tree wounds in an old growth New Brunswick forest and more! Each talk will be 12 minutes long plus 3 minutes for questions. Here is the lineup:

- video: Nicole Borsato. York University. "Identifying the Symbiomes of Destructive Insects Using Metabarcoding"

- video: Michael Light. University of Toronto, Sandy Smith lab, & Jeremy Allison, Canadian Forestry Service. "Ecology of Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Tree Wound Communities in Canada"

- video:Katherine Lunn. York University, Elizabeth Clare lab. "Novel tools to characterise the ecological interactions of native pollinators in Ontario"

- video: Wynne Reichheld. Brock University. "Mayfly swarm observations at DeCew Falls"

- video: Amanda Sabatino. York University, Eryn McFarlane lab. "Urbanization and Hybridization in Colias butterflies in Toronto"

- video: Albert Tomchyshyn. University of Toronto, Mississauga. "A chironomid-based reconstruction of Holocene climate in southern Yukon"

Catherine Scott, McGill University

See video of the meeting. Spiders are fascinating and diverse predators of insects and their relatives, including other spiders. In this talk, I will highlight the wide range of predation tactics used by spiders in Ontario and beyond. I will then describe some of my recent research on the surprisingly flexible foraging behaviour of the candy-striped spider and the potential impact on pollinating insects in North America.

Rosalind Murray, University of Toronto Mississauga

See video of the meeting. Cities, despite being vastly different from many species’ natural habitats, are often home to an impressive diversity of insects. How urban and suburban areas change insect evolution is a central theme in my research. I will present recent work on mosquitoes (Culicidae) and dance flies (Empididae): how does road salt pollution affect urban mosquito sex ratios? What do city-dwelling dance flies eat? How do flies from areas with different levels of urbanization behave, and what does it mean for species interactions?

Sept. 23, 2023: MEMBERS' MEETING.
See video of the meeting. Starting times of speakers: Susan Blayney and Donna Rice, "Middle Mills caterpillar counts etc," 0:01; Masato Osanai, "I Love Insects," 12:15; Kasra Prakash, "Insects Observed", 22:40; Carol Pasternak, monarchs etc., 25:30; Karen Yukich, a variety of insects, 33:40; Bob Yukich, Ocola Skipper butterfly, 47:20; Antonia Guidotti, interesting critters of the summer, 50:30; Christina Enright, 56:30 and Alan Macnaughton, 59:10 (both presented by Antonia); and Chris Rickard, butterflies and moths of the Bruce Peninsula, 1:03:00.



Invasive species of insects to watch for in Ontario: Canadian Food Inspetion Agency poster, July 2024.

The "Butterflies of Canada" web pages (aussi en français) are now available on the TEA website. This is the whole 280-page book from 1998, broken down into more than 300 individual web pages, one for each species or butterfly topic. The TEA thanks the authors (Ross Layberry, Peter Hall and Don Lafontaine) and the University of Toronto Press for providing this content. Thanks are also due to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for providing the web files.

Latest Bulletin (June 2024) 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 2022, $56.25 per year).

Biological Survey of Canada: the winter 2023 issue is about entomology subjects, including a butterfly "big year" in Western Canada

Deadline for submission to our newsletter: April issue -- March 15.

Alan Macnaughton gave a talk on moths and moth-attracting equipment in Owen Sound last June 8. See video of this meeting.

Videos of past TEA meetings are included in our meetings page.

Royce Bitzer of Iowa State University is seeking sightings of Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, and American Ladies. If you are an iNaturalist user, join his iNaturalist project and your iNaturalist observations of these species will be included in the project. Otherwise, report observations to his Vanessa migration website (photos are not required).

"Caterpillars Count," an ongoing citizen science project by Ecospark. See the project's iNaturalist page. A volunteer entomology enthusiast is needed to answer participants' questions by email. Contact dana@ecospark.ca

A new membership year started on January 1, 2024 (we now operate on a calendar year basis) - renew here.

"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' Guild was published in May 2024.

Latest Newsletter of the Entomological Society of Ontario (December 2023). Amateurs can join the ESO for free.

A group including former TEA president Jessica Linton is working 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 2020-2023 are in preparation and are expected to be released in 2024.

Books for sale by Anne Morgan (as of June 27, 2023). If you are interested, contact info@ontarioinsects.org and you will be put in touch with Anne:
- 1. “A General Textbook of Entomology” by A.D. Imms (1970) Price $5.00
- 2. “The Genera of Holarctic Elaphrini” by H. Goulet bound copy (1983) Price $15
- 3. “The Ground Beetles of Canada and Alaska” by Carl H. Lindroth (all bound copies) Volume 1 (parts 1,2,3): Volume 2 (parts 4,5,6). Price $50.00 (signed by author)
- 4. “ The Fauna History of Newfoundland” by Carl H. Lindroth - bound copy. Price $10
- 5. “A Field Guide to the Insects” by D. Borrow and Richard White (Peterson Guide) $5.00
- 6. “ Stokes Beginner’s Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies” by Nikulu, Sones and Stokes : $4.00
- Antique book: 7. “Insects at Home” by Rev. J.G. Wood (1892) Fair condition $10.00
- Antique book. 8. “Through a Pocket Lens” by Henry Scherren (1904) Price $7.00

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

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.

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 123,00 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. 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.

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 2020 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.