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. They will resume in September. In the meantime, think about participating in our field trips. Also, check our list of butterfly and odonate counts for those run by people in your area.

Past Meetings, 2022-23

Saturday, April 22, 2023. 1:15 pm - 3:00 pm. By Zoom.
Thomas Hossie, Trent University

See video of the meeting. The caterpillars of many lepidopteran groups possess distinct eye-like markings. In fact, caterpillars with eyespots can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Intuition and conventional wisdom tells us that eyespots protect caterpillars by scaring away predators. What is our evidence that this is really the case? Do eyespots really confer protection? Do insect-eating birds perceive these markings as eyes? What other traits or behaviours might be involved in the ruse? Why do eyespots evolve in some species but not in others? Using a combination of approaches we have tried to answer these questions to gain a better understanding of this captivating antipredator strategy.

Saturday, March 25, 2023. By Zoom.

Ten undergraduate and graduate students at Ontario universities present about Monarch butterfly enthusiasts will be particularly interested in the presentation about which milkweed species is best for getting the fall generation to Mexico (last talk in the list below). Read the abstracts. Each talk can be viewed separately:
- video: Stephanie Allen, Imperfect Detection of an Endangered Riverine Dragonfly, Rapids Clubtail (Phanogomphus quadricolor): Implications for Monitoring.
- video: Ruisen Zhang, A taxonomic review of Canadian Oestridae (Bot Flies)
- video: Lydia Wong, It’s getting hot and dry: what does this mean for subalpine cavity-nesting bees?
- video: Pooja Nathan, Understanding latitudinal variation in mutualistic interactions: a case study using the castor bean plant, Ricinus communis, in the Indian subcontinent
- video: Wei Han Lau, Do broader heads make for a stronger bite? A biomechanical analysis of a putatively ecologically dimorphic trait in the northeastern pine sawyer beetle (Cerambycidae: Monochamus notatus)
- video: Cailyn McKay, Heat stress experienced during metamorphosis: impacts on pheromone-mediated mating in the true armyworm (Mythimna unipuncta)
- video: Janean Sharkey, Bee communities in tallgrass prairie and oak savanna in Southern Ontario
- video: Heloisa Fernandes Flores, Evolution of kleptoparasitism in jackal flies (Diptera, Milichiidae)
- video: Alice Assmar, Past, present, and future of freshwater insects: evolution and diversification of Osmyloidea (Insecta: Neuroptera)
- video: Campbell McKay, Could the use of different species of milkweed as larval hostplants influence the fall migration of Monarchs?

Saturday, February 25, 2023. By Zoom.
Patrice Bouchard, Research Scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

See video of the meeting. Dr. Bouchard explores the production and impact of a recent book of his (The Book of Beetles, University of Chicago Press). He also discusses whether printed books still have a place in an era characterized by electronic communications and short attention spans. He is also the author of a second book to be published next spring. Beetles of the World from Princeton University Press

Saturday, January 28, 2023. By Zoom.
Joel Kits, Research Scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
See video of the meeting.

Saturday, November 19, 2022. By Zoom.
Heather Kharouba, University of Ottawa

See video of the meeting.

Saturday, October 22, 2022. 1:15 pm - 3:00 pm. By Zoom.
Patricia Okpara, University of Windsor

See video of this meeting.

Saturday, September 17, 2022.
See video of this meeting. Speakers and topics, with the start times for each: Peter Hall, European Common Blue (2:45); Bruce Bolin, Rearing Pipevine Swallowtails (17:50); Karen Yukich, 2022 insects first-seen or rarely-seen (23:50); Alan Macnaughton, moths of trips to Owen Sound and Essex County (41:35); Clement Kent, Project Swallowtail in 2022 (48:40); Antonia Guidotti, insect photos from travels this summer (55:40); and Don Davis, monarch tagging and tag recoveries this year (01:04:20).

- For more past meetings and videos of them, see 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, 2023 (we now operate on a calendar year basis) - renew here.

Deadlines for submission to our newsletter: July issue - June 20; September issue - August 20; and September issue - August 20. Our April 2023 issue has been delayed by illness.

October 27 to 29, 2023 is the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of Ontario. It will be held at the University of Guelph Arboretum. The theme is “Backyard Bugs: Community Science in Entomology.”

Books for sale by Anne Morgan (as of Jan. 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

"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 2022 (the fall issue).

At the September 25, 2021 meeting, the executive was elected for a 2-year period: 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 (March 2023) 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).

Latest Newsletter of the Entomological Society of Ontario (December 2022). 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 2020-2022 are in preparation and are expected to be released in 2023.

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. test Atlas (testindex.html)