119/150: Blue Bee or not Blue Bee… The unsung heroes of orchard pollination


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Hymenoptera: Megachilidae: Osmia: Osmia lignaria Say 1837

When you think of important pollinators, you picture honeybees and bumblebees, but have you heard of blue bees? The Blue Orchard Bee or Mason Orchard Bee (Osmia lignaria) is a species in the family Megachilidae, a group of solitary bees with long hairs on the underside of their abdomens used to carry pollen (scopa). Continue reading “119/150: Blue Bee or not Blue Bee… The unsung heroes of orchard pollination”

97/150: An Ant Found Only In Canada


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Lepidoptera: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Myrmica: Myrmica quebecensis (Francoeur 1981)

The ant species Myrmica quebecensis is a species endemic to Canada with an interesting biology. Rather than sustaining their own colonies, these ants are social parasites that rely on the colonies of another ant species to survive. Continue reading “97/150: An Ant Found Only In Canada”

73/150: Dragons of the Forest


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Rhyssinae: Megarhyssa: Megarhyssa atrata (Fabricius, 1781)

At first glance, Megarhyssa atrata may slightly resemble small dragons due to their extremely long ovipositor! They can be found from May to June in North America, ranging all the way from Quebec to Florida. The Megarhyssa genus is known to have species with the longest ovipositors ever recorded in the insect world. Continue reading “73/150: Dragons of the Forest”

65/150: The Buzz surrounding the Yellow-banded Bumble bee


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae: Apinae:  Bombus: Bombus terricola (Kirby 1837)

The yellow-banded bumble bee is one of nearly 20,000 different species of bees found throughout the world. Yellow-banded bumble bees use a technique called “buzz pollination,” this involves the bee grabbing a flower with its jaws and vibrating their wings, causing inaccessible pollen to shake loose. Continue reading “65/150: The Buzz surrounding the Yellow-banded Bumble bee”

33/150: Brilliant, metallic, and kleptoparasitic: the cuckoo wasp is not your everyday wasp


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animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Hymenoptera: Chrysididae: Chrysidinae: Trichrysis: Trichrysis doriae Neurada L., 1753

While we commonly think of wasps as stinging black-and-yellow insects that live in groups, they actually come in many sizes, lifestyles, and colours! The solitary cuckoo wasp, also known as the emerald wasp, comes in various metallic shades of blue, red, and green. Continue reading “33/150: Brilliant, metallic, and kleptoparasitic: the cuckoo wasp is not your everyday wasp”

Beetles, Bees, and… Beef?


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Back in October, BIO sent out teams to three different museums to collect specimens.  Both Connor and Angela have already outlined the details of their trips, so now it’s my turn! Valerie Levesque-Beaudin and I drove up to Montreal (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue specifically) to visit the Lyman Entomological Museum and Research Laboratory on the Macdonald Campus of McGill University. Continue reading “Beetles, Bees, and… Beef?”

Bugs From All Schools Of Study


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Hello faithful readers, I’m back! Last you heard, I was returning from a harrowing six week trip on the BIObus to the west coast of Canada, and just recently I returned from the two week field entomology course offered by the University of Guelph. It marked both the final expedition of the course (as far as I am aware) as well as the end of my undergraduate career. My time at school was a load of fun, and I couldn’t have thought of a more fitting culmination. Now, I’m back at BIO and we’re just finishing up the processing for School Malaise. Continue reading “Bugs From All Schools Of Study”

Imaging Insects From Saudi Arabia


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Since early May we have been focusing on completing all the images of specimens from Canadian National Parks and the Mecca region in Saudi Arabia from the Global Malaise Trap Program. Of the specimens I have imaged, there are some unique species from Saudi Arabia that stood out. Their life history has always intrigued me. Continue reading “Imaging Insects From Saudi Arabia”

A “Bug Photographer”


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Hello everybody!

My name is Danielle, and if you’ve been following the BIObus blog you may remember me from last summer. I went on a bug collecting adventure to 4 different National and Provincial Parks (Grasslands, E.C. Manning, Gulf Islands and Pacific Rim). Over the autumn and winter months I am a work-study student here at the Biodiversity Institute, Continue reading “A “Bug Photographer””