What's New

Updates from the collection

A Checklist of the Clearwing Moths of BC and YT

An annotated checklist of the clearwing moths (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) in British Columbia and Yukon Territory by T.D. Nelson, K. Cu, J.F. Gibson, K.M. Needham, E. John, G.J. Rudd, and C.E. Moffat (2023) details the distributions, host plant records, and general biology of all 22 species known from these regions.

The checklist is published in Vol. 120 of the Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia and is available here.


Asian Vespa New to BC

In the summers of 2019 and 2020, three Asian Giant Hornet species were discovered in BC. One species (Vespa mandarinia) had established a nest in Naniamo before it was spotted. The other two species are known from single individuals found at the Port of Vancouver (Vespa soror) and on Mayne Island (Vespa crabro flavofasciata).

Read more here.



Original Insect Drawings

Long before everyone had a camera in their pocket, unique details of an insect species were captured by professionally-trained biological illustrators. An insect specimen, sometimes no more that a few millimetres long, would be placed under a high-powered microscope and every hair, every puncture, every pattern would be rendered in pain-staking detail. Each drawing could take upwards of 40 hours to complete but the final result provides a depth of information often not possible with a photograph. Afterwards, these drawings were published in the scientific literature in order to introduce a species new to science or one of particular interest to the entomological community at large. Part science, part art, completely amazing - please enjoy this glimpse of entomological history in the making.

See more here.

Field Guide to the Flower Flies of N.E. North America

The Field Guide to the Flower Flies of Northeastern North America by J. Skevington and M. Locke is the winner of the 2019 National Outdoor Book Award in the Nature Guidebooks category for good reason. Complemented by beautiful photographs and distribution maps, it provides useful descriptions for differentiating the subfamilies, genera, and species of syrphids present in Northeastern North America, many of which are also present in the West. The guide also proposes taxonomic changes to the family, the result of tremendous research efforts: data from 147,971 specimens were used, 13,263 of which had their DNA sequences evaluated, leading to the discovery of new species and the revision of previously established taxonomic concepts. In addition, it provides advice on what equipment to use to observe, photograph, and collect flower flies, as well as tips for properly labelling and databasing specimens. All in all, a great tool for all flower fly enthusiasts!

The book can be ordered directly from the publisher at Princeton University Press.

Cerambycidae of Canada and Alaska

Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) of Canada and Alaska by Yves Bousquet, Serge Laplante, H.E. James Hammond, and David W. Langor (2017) is the first identification guide of long-horned beetles for this region in a decade. In 300 pages, the book provides information on the taxonomy, distribution, biology, and ecology of 395 species-group taxa known to occur in Canada and Alaska. The identification keys to subfamilies, genera, and species-groups are illustrated and bilingual (English and French). Distribution maps and habitus photographs of the majority of the species-groups are also included.

The book can be ordered directly from the publisher here or from BioQuip here.

An Updated List of the Mosquitoes of BC

An updated checklist of mosquitoes was compiled for British Columbia by Daniel A.H. Peach in 2018. As a result of the research, 50 species (including 2 that had not been previously formally reported) are now recorded from the province, and the distribution of 13 species has been updated. This study was done primarily through collection of specimens, a thorough review of the existing literature, and an examination of museum holdings of the Spencer Entomological Collection and the Royal British Columbia Museum.

The checklist is published in Vol. 115 of the Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia and is available here.

Insects of the Vancouver Convention Centre Green Roof

For the past several years, researchers from the Spencer Collection have been taking an inventory of the insect species found on the green roof of the Vancouver Convention Centre. Over 230 species of insects, as well as several species of spiders, have already been found up on the roof including seven species of native ladybird beetles, at least twelve species of native bees, and a number of species new to our area. Identification of specimens is still ongoing and the total number of species is expected to increase.

Visit our Green Roof page to find out more.

To learn more about the Vancouver Convention Centre's Green Roof visit their webpage here.

Notes on Insects Recently Introduced to Metro Vancouver

Through fieldwork and examination of older museum specimens sixteen species of insects are recorded for the first time from British Columbia, including seven new to Canada. Nine species are introduced including the crabronid wasp Rhopalum gracile Wesmael and the ladybird beetle Brumus quadripustulatus Linnaeus (pictured left [b.]). The remaining seven species are native to North America and have only now been recorded from British Columbia. These include the net-winged midge Philorus californicus (Hogue), the caddisfly Desmona mono (Denning), and the plant bug Orectoderus montanus Knight.

The full article is published in Vol. 113 of the Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia and is available here.

The Checklist of the Lepidoptera of BC

The first comprehensive checklist of BC Lepidoptera since 1951 was recently published as an Entomological Society of British Columbia Occasional Paper #3 by Gregory R. Pohl, Robert A. Cannings, Jean-Francois Landry, David G. Holden, and Geoffrey G.E. Scudder. The list was compiled from a survey of the literature from the past 65 years as well as examination of holdings from the Spencer Entomological Collection, the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes, and the Canadian Forest Service. A total of 2,832 species in 70 families were recorded, representing 52.9% of all known Canadian species (the most of any province). Of these species 134 are known to be introduced. Another 27 species are likely present in the province and 322 species previously recorded from BC were removed from the list.

More information on how this checklist came to be can be found here.

The checklist itself can be found here.