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Western Specialties

Living in Western Canada is pretty sweet. Especially here on the coast, we have a plethora of awesome insects that only occur in this region. I am trying to savour these insects while I can, as this fall I am moving to Toronto. The snakeflies (Raphidioptera) are awesome animals, with a delightfully elongate prothorax and long […]

Image courtesy of Sarah Edwards.

Citizen Science on a continental scale

The Editor’s pick from the Feburary issue of The Canadian Entomologist is Crowdsourcing for large-scale mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) sampling by Elin C. Maki and Lee W. Cohnstaedt. In this blog Lee Cohnstaedt reveals more about the research. —- “We were inspired to carry out this study to find out the origin and historical geographic spread of the […]

A typical adult dragonfly. Note the spiked legs, which are held in a basket shape to help catch prey while flying.

Recreational boating affects dragonflies

—-By Aaron Hall—- Dragonflies are charismatic insects, and most of us can probably remember chasing them or watching their acrobatic flights when we were children. But what most of us didn’t realize when we were kids, is that dragonflies spend the majority of their lives as toothy, alien-looking predators living underwater before they become adults. […]

An adult female Habronattus americanus jumping spider in natural beach habitat. Females are avid hunters. Photo credit: Sean McCann

Behavioural observations in nature reveal mating strategies of jumping spiders

—- By Gwylim S. Blackburn & Wayne P. Maddison—- Animals reveal a lot about their lives simply by the way that they behave. When observed in the wild, they also offer insights to the function of behaviours in a natural context. Capturing these insights just requires a little patience, and attention to the right details. […]

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Decoding the love songs of mate-seeking male bark beetles

—–By Amanda Lindeman, PhD Candidate, Carleton University—– In April 2015, I coauthored a paper on what bark beetles are trying to say to each other when they interact with potential mates (1). No one knew for sure – since bark beetles, as their name implies, live under the bark, males could simply be announcing their […]

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Finding a rare robber fly in the Okanagan

Catherine Scott and I recently indulged in an almost unheard-of pleasure…A week long car camping trip to the Okanagan Valley! For those of you who don’t know, this is the area where the vast majority of BC wines originate (and tree fruit crops as well!). The South Okanagan and the Lower Similkameen Valleys, biologically speaking, are very […]

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Canadian Entomology Research Roundup: March 2015 – April 2015

As a graduate student, publishing a paper is a big deal.  After spending countless hours doing the research, slogging through the writing process, soliciting comments from co-authors, formatting the paper to meet journal guidelines, and dealing with reviewer comments, it’s nice to finally get that acceptance letter and know that your work is getting out there. The ESC […]

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Royal honours for Canadian student!

Eloise Rowland, graduate of the Gries Lab of Simon Fraser University was recently recognized by the Royal Entomological Society for the best paper published in the journal Physiological Entomology in 2013 and 2014. This paper, part of Eloise’s MSc work, examines the role of sound in the sexual communication of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar. […]

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Costly colouration in a forest moth: the tale of a ten-year research project

As part of the Canadian Entomology Research roundup (the first two posts can be found here and here), we will be sharing more detailed posts from the grad students involved in the published research. Below is a post from Jessica Ethier, sharing her research experience that spanned an undergraduate and PhD degree. I just published a […]

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Michael McLeish and Andrew Chaulk.

“Thrips” should die

By Dr. Tom Chapman, Memorial University —- I used scissor to cut my pant into short. A jarring opening sentence, I know. It is how I use to feel when someone dropped the “s” in “thrips”; it is a plural noun, don’t you know? If you see a solitary individual of these animals it is […]

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Announcement – ESC-SEQ JAM 2015!

The Entomological Society of Canada  and the Société d’entomologie du Québec are pleased to invite the entomological community to the 2015 Joint Annual Meeting in Montréal, Québec. The conference will take place from 8th to 11th November, and includes a range of symposia and associated events under the meeting’s theme : Entomology in the Anthropocene. The plenary symposium […]

Liopiophila varipes, a piophilid species commonly found on carrion. Photo by S. Rochefort

Exploring piophilid flies: taxonomic tools for forensic entomology

By Sabrina Rochefort, MSc student, McGill University. Early in my undergraduate program at McGill University, I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer in a lab, where I could feed my need to learn and make new discoveries. That led me to Terry Wheeler’s lab; he was the teacher for my evolution class at that […]

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Royal BC Museum insect curator position in danger, but you can make a difference

  The following is a guest post by Professor Felix Sperling  I’m always amazed when I see a well-established natural history museum that doesn’t have entomology curators. What are their administrators thinking? Insects form half of the known species diversity of our planet, a fundamental fact that too many people are unaware of. The ecological […]

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A message from the ESC President

The following is by Dr. Staffan Lindgren, ESC President Christmas has come and gone and it is now closing in on the end of 2014. Most of us are busy with family and friends, and although winter seems to be spotty across the country (it is plus 3 oC in Prince George as I write […]

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Low-cost, effective bed bug pheromone found!

Researchers at Simon Fraser University have just published a paper describing a bedbug pheromone blend which includes three new volatiles and a surprising arrestant: histamine! Regine Gries, along with colleagues from SFU’s Chemistry and Biological Sciences Departments have been working on pheromone chemistry of these pervasive and damaging pests for years. Regine has led the […]

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Invasive ants march on the West Coast

Invasive ants are generally a phenomenon of warmer climates. Argentine ants, red imported fire ants, and electric ants are all major economic problems in places like Florida, New Caledonia, and Australia. But what is to stop European and Asian ant species from damaging invasions of Canada? It turns out, not much. Ken Naumann and Rob Higgins, […]

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The last of the yellowjackets?

  On Friday, while walking to work I found this male wasp, cold and still on the pavement. This was a male western yellowjacket, Vespula pensylvanica, and he was in rough shape. Even here in Vancouver, wintry weather comes this time of year, and we have had freezing nights for almost a week.      

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Spiders with an identity crisis: a new taxonomy paper

The following is a guest post by Terry Wheeler, from the Lyman  Entomological Museum at McGill University. It is re-posted from the Lyman Museum Blog, where it originally appeared.  Two wolf spiders, whose names are Pardosa lapponica and Pardosa concinna, run across open ground all over northern Canada. Here’s the problem: these two species of spiders live in a […]

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Tracking the Warren Root Collar Weevil

The following is a guest post from ESC student member Sharleen Balogh. Sharleen is a Masters student at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) working with Dezene Huber and Staffan Lindgren on Warren Root Collar Weevils. She recently took home a President’s Prize for best talk at the ESC/ESS JAM in Saskatoon.    For the past two years, […]

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Exotic field collecting…in the hallway!

The following post is by Chloe Gerak, a Masters student at UBC who completed an undergraduate project at Simon Fraser University in the Gries lab.This past weekend, she won the top prize for an undergraduate talk at the Annual General  Meeting of the Entomological Society of British Columbia with a talk entitled “How the false widow […]

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Mating of western yellowjackets

The following post comes to us from our new President, Staffan Lindgren, who in addition to being a great researcher, takes the time to make natural history observations which are crucial for any entomologist.  On occasion I grab my camera and go out in the garden to see if some photogenic insect or other arthropod […]

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President’s Prize winners and runners-up

In my last post, I shared some thoughts about the value of the President’s Prize at Annual Meetings of the Entomological Society of Canada. This time, with the help of Tyler Wist, I present the names and categories for each of the winners and runners-up. I would like to congratulate all of these fine scientists, and […]

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What is a President’s Prize worth?

At the recent ESC/ESS JAM in Saskatoon, not only were we treated to some great science and camaraderie, but the beloved institution of the President’s Prize sessions for student talks and posters provided some of the most stimulating and exciting times. This was my first year not being in the competition, and I would like […]

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ESC/ESS JAM 2014 Day 1 photos

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Drop in on your friends…Before it’s too late!

Just a reminder…Summer does not last long here in Canada, so if there are any insects you have missed so far this year, now is the time to get out and find them!

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How to get a spider to drink blood

Spiders may not bite, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them to drink your blood! All you need is a sunset at the beach, hordes of mosquitoes, a spider, and some frustration to take out.

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Hymenoptera at Sunset

Last night I went for a ramble at Iona Beach in Richmond BC, looking for insects and inspiration in the sand dunes. I knew the sunset would be pretty, as there was a bit of light wispy cloud in the west, so I hurried out to the end of the beach where restoration efforts hadn’t […]

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Friday night fun: spiders at Iona Beach

  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of ferrying four Vancouver-area spider researchers out to Iona Beach in Richmond for a bit of a Friday-evening ramble in search of spiders. Gwylim Blackburn and Samantha Vibert are old hands at spider observations at this site, Gwilym had studied Habronattus americanus and Samantha  had studied Hobo Spiders. Catherine Scott […]

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The Romanian Tarantula

  The following is a guest post by Simon Fraser University student Bekka Brodie. Bekka studies blow fly ecology and blogs at http://www.bekkabrodie.com. The Romanian tarantula, Lycosa singoriensis (Lexmann 1770), is actually not a tarantula at all!  It’s a wolf spider! In Romania, and in most parts of Europe, the members of the family Lycosidae are commonly called tarantulas. […]

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Happiness is a freshly-moulted Phidippus

I know this isn’t entomological in the strict sense, but isn’t it just grand when you come upon an arthropod as splendid as this freshly-moulted Phidippus johnsoni? What a beautiful spider! I found this last evening in Mt. Tolmie Park in Victoria, BC, and you can be sure where beauties like this are turning up, […]

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A unique experience for the mosquito enthusiast – FMEL’s mosquito identification course 2014

The following is a guest post by Memorial University student Andrew Chaulk. Andrew is looking into mosquito ecology an biodiversity . He recently attended a short course offered by the University of Florida’s FMEL in Vero Beach.    Just off a main road running through a small town in Florida, a small group of enthusiastic […]

Subterranean termites ready to swarm. Photo courtesy of Tom Murray.

Identifying Termite Damage in Canada

The following post is by Ben Friedson, an student of Biology at George Washington University   Termites are often thought to infest only tropical or temperate areas. In fact, they thrive in most parts of southern Canada, especially along the coasts. They are commonly found in large cities like Toronto or Ottawa. The most common […]

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The brief lives and loves of male strepsipterans

Who wouldn’t want to get to know the Strepsiptera? These animals are extremely odd, being obligate endoparasites of other insects, with a free-flying male and an eyeless, wingless female that never leaves the abdomen of her host. Different families of these parasites infect different hosts, ranging from silverfish and cockroaches to solitary and social wasps, […]

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Basing biosurveillance on good natural history: a case study of Crabronidae wasps and the emerald ash borer. TCE Editor’s Pick for 146(1)

I’m pleased to announce the following Canadian Entomologist paper as this issue’s Editor’s Pick: The use of Cerceris fumipennis (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae) for surveying and monitoring emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) infestations in eastern North America. It was written by Philip Careless, Steve Marshall and Bruce Gill. This link will be active and freely available for […]

Zaprionis indianus photographed by Dr. Stephen Marshall in Africa. (Photo C Stephen A. Marshall, used with permission)

African fig fly shows up in Canada: first occurrences of another fruit-infesting fly and potential pest.

By Justin Renkema, Post-Doc, University of Guelph —– It was an early morning after a long drive from Guelph to a small fruit farm in Chatham-Kent where my undergraduate student, Caitlyn, and I were conducting a small-plot spray trial to test the effect s of repellents against Drosophila suzukii (Spotted Wing Drosophila), a recent invasive […]

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Snapshots from two Canadian Entomologists in Honduras

Catherine Scott and I continue on our Honduran odyssey, finally making it out into the field to begin our work on Red-throated Caracaras. We are working in a medium-elevation pine forest, consisting of mainly Pinus oocarpa and a couple oak species. This makes the surroundings seem very much like the foothills of the Rockies, except […]

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Cattle bots!

While out visiting our friend Rafael’s ranchito yesterday, we were surrounded by a herd of curious cattle. These were a mix of both Brahmas and Holsteins, with some crosses as well. One animal in particular caught my eye; it appeared to have bot emergence holes on its sides. I asked Rafael what these were, and […]

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New apartment infestation blues…

I am sure many folks out there know what it is like to rent their very first apartment, only to find that the place has a major infestation of some noxious pest. Well, fellow ESC member Catherine Scott and I have just rented our first apartment in Gualaco, Honduras, and boy does it ever have […]

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Green and red for the holidays

This season is full of green and red decorations, and exhortations about family, so I thought I would share this lovely family portrait of some 1st instar stink bugs exemplifying the togetherness of the holiday season. I found this family group in Fort Pierce, Florida on the underside of a Brazilian Peppertree leaf. Schinus terebinthefolius […]

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Light, warmth and insects to beat the winter cold

By Sean McCann, ESC/SEC blog coordinator and PhD student at Simon Fraser University —— It seems that a popular pastime for Canadian entomologists in winter is to reminisce about warmer times and abundant insects. Edmonton bug photographer Adrian Thysse just posted a video of his National Moth Week experience at Devonian Gardens in Edmonton over […]

A successful supervisor-student relationship can turn into a lifetime relationship: Staffan Lindgren (PhD 1982), Lisa Poirier(PhD 1995) and Dezene Huber (PhD 2001), gave back to their supervisor John H. Borden by successfully nominating him for an honorary doctorate at UNBC in 2009 in recognition of his enormous impact on forest insect pest management in British Columbia. Photo by Edna Borden.

The W5 of Deciding about Graduate School

B. Staffan Lindgren is a professor of entomology at the University of Northern British Columbia, and 1st Vice-President of the Entomological Society of Canada. He has been the senior supervisor of 11 M.Sc. students and one Ph.D. student, co-supervisor of two M.Sc. students, and participated on more than 20 supervisory committees. —————- Recently I have […]

Staffan (R) and Ken (L) (photo by C Raffa)

When friends work together: The evolution of a review paper on the evolution of tree-killing in bark beetles. — TCE Editor’s Pick for 145(5)

By Dr. Chris Buddle, McGill University & Editor of The Canadian Entomologist ———————- This Issue’s Editor’s pick for The Canadian Entomologist is Staffan Lindgren and Ken Raffa’s paper, titled “Evolution of tree killing in bark beetles: trade-offs between the maddening crowds and a sticky situation”.  This is a key review paper that provides comprehensive and […]

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ESC/ESO 150th Anniversary Joint Annual Meeting

By Gary Umphrey, University of Guelph & President of ESC-ESO 2013 JAM Organizing Committee ——— Greetings Fellow Entomological Enthusiast: I wish to draw your attention to the following photo, which is of the participants at the Entomological Society of Ontario’s 50th Anniversary meeting, held in Guelph Aug 27-29, 1913. Yes, this meeting was held 100 […]

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Cicada invasion in eastern Canada?

By David McCorquodale, Dean of Science and Technology, Cape Breton University There is a perception that Nova Scotia and Cape Breton (where I live) may be subject to an invasion of cicadas.  The perception seems to stem from the mass emergence of cicadas in the northeastern USA this spring and summer.  What an opportunity to […]

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ESC Members: It’s official now! — Membres de la SEC: c’est maintenant officiel!

Français We are pleased to announce that we will be co-locating our 2016 annual meeting with the International Congress of Entomology (ICE) hosted by the Entomological Society of America (ESA) in Orlando, Florida (see http://ice2016orlando.org/)! The ESC Governing Board has voted to accept the ESA’s invitation to join them and other national entomological societies at […]

Kids like bugs: entomology outreach in elementary schools (Part 1)

Written by Chris Buddle and Paul Manning. Spending time talking to kids about Entomology is ALWAYS worth it. If ever invited to speak at an elementary school about insects, always say “yes”, and in this post, we’ll expand on why it’s worth your time. In a second post on this topic, we’ll provide some tips on […]

BAW in corn. Started on and ate all the lambsquarters then moved onto the corn cobs.

Insect Monitoring and Twitter

By Scott Meers, Insect Management Specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. ———————— My role as an entomologist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development consists largely of counting insects. We monitor the populations of seven different species on a provincial scale and several more on either an ad hoc or regional basis. We also carry out surveillance for potential new […]

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Canadian Entomologist Editor’s Pick – March 2013

By Chris Buddle, editor of The Canadian Entomologist —————————- The Canadian Entomologists’ latest issue is devoted to Arctic Entomology, with guest editors Derek Sikes and Toke T. Høye putting together an excellent suite of papers on this topic.  This is a very timely issue – there is an incredible amount of Arctic entomology happening around […]

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Editor’s Pick: Resins, exotic woodwasps and how a study species picks a researcher.

by Christopher Buddle, McGill University ————– As the Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian Entomologist, I have the pleasure of seeing all papers move through the publication process, from first submission to approval of the final proof.  This places me in a position to fully appreciate the incredible entomological research occurring around the world.  As one way […]

The co-chairs – Chandra Moffat and Boyd Mori. Photo credit: Adrian Thysse

Meet your ESC Student Affairs Committee

By Julia Mlynarek, PhD Candidate (Carleton University) ————— Well it’s a New Year! 2013! I’m writing a post on behalf of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC). Many people, especially students, don’t really know who we are and what the Student Affairs Committee actually does. So I figured I’d try to clear it up… Who are […]

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Insects as works of art

Insects as works of art

Many of us appreciate insects, spiders and other arthropods for more than just their scientific, biological or ecological value: they also have an aesthetic that some of us find irresistible, inspiring us to capture them in photographs or in paintings rather than sweep nets or aspirators. For this special feature, we interviewed Elizabeth Goluch, a […]

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