Bonjour à tous les participants de la Réunion Annuelle Conjointe de la Société d’Entomologie du Canada et de la Société d’Entomologie de l’Ontario de 2021!

Merci pour votre inscription à cette réunion virtuelle. Voici quelques mises à jour du comité organisateur.

Tout individus ayant soumis une présentation orale ou une affiche pourront la présenter à la réunion. Pour plus de détails par rapport au programme de la réunion, veuillez visiter les liens ci-dessous: https://www.entsocon.ca/esceso-2021-jam-english.html ou https://www.entsocont.ca/esceso-2021-rac-franccedilais.html. Le programme est également téléchargeable directement ici.

Dans les semaines à venir, notre fournisseur de la plateforme virtuelle – Showcare – contactera par courriel tous les conférenciers et modérateurs, afin de leur donner des instructions sur le déroulement des présentations. Les présentateurs d’affiches seront également contactés pour offrir des instructions sur le téléchargement de leurs affiches sur la plate-forme virtuelle. Enfin, une semaine avant le début de la réunion, tous les autres participants recevront une invitation par courriel comprenant le lien vers la plateforme virtuelle.

Veuillez noter que vous pouvez également commander des chemises et chapeaux de la réunion annuelle sur le lien ici

Commandez maintenant pour pouvoir porter vos chemises pendant la réunion virtuelle en novembre.

Merci, et nous avons hâte de vous voir (virtuellement 🙂 le mois prochain!
Amro Zayed and Miriam Richards

(French follows)

This year, instead of the annual silent auction, the Student and Early Professional Affairs Committee of the Entomological Society of Canada is selling bandanas to raise money for the Annual Scholarship Fund.

This 100% cotton bandana, available in red or charcoal gray, is printed with the logo insects* of the ESC and all of the regional entomological societies, plus a bonus arctic wolf spider to represent the northern territories. The beautiful artwork is by Mary Capaldi, and you can find more of their work, much of it entomology-themed, here: https://linktr.ee/marycapaldi.

You can pre-order bandanas on Etsy or by contacting Catherine Scott by email or on twitter. We anticipate that the bandanas will be available for shipping around the time of the 2021 online annual meeting, in plenty of time for holiday gift-giving.

*list of featured taxa:

ESC – Grylloblatta campodeiformis
ESBC – Boreus elegans
ESAb – Apamea devastator
ESS – Melanoplus bivittatus
ESM – Cicindela formosa generosa
ESO – Danaus plexippus
SEQ – Limenitis arthemis arthemis
AES – Rhagoletis pomonella
Arctic wolf spider – Pardosa glacialis

Mockups of two bandanas featuring line drawings of insects and spiders. One is charcoal grey with white insects and the other is bright red with white insects.

Un bandana orné d’insectes pour soutenir les étudiants de la SEC

Cette année, au lieu des enchères silencieuses annuelles, le Comité des affaires étudiantes et des jeunes professionnels de la Société d’entomologie du Canada vend des bandanas pour amasser des fonds pour le Fonds des bourses de la SEC.

Ces bandanas sont faits de coton à 100%, sont disponibles en rouge ou gris anthracite, et ont des imprimés montrant les insectes* des logos de la SEC et de toutes les sociétés entomologiques régionales, en plus d’une lycose glaciale pour représenter les territoires. Cette belle œuvre d’art est de Mary Capaldi, et vous pouvez trouver davantage de ses œuvres, en grande partie sur le thème de l’entomologie, ici : https://linktr.ee/marycapaldi.

Vous pouvez précommander des bandanas sur Etsy ou en contactant Catherine Scott par courriel ou sur Twitter. Nous prévoyons que les bandanas seront prêts pour l’expédition au moment de la réunion annuelle en ligne de 2021, donc bien à temps pour offrir des cadeaux de Noël.

*liste des taxons représentés :

SEC – Grylloblatta campodeiformis
ESBC – Boreus elegans
ESAb – Apamea devastator
ESS – Melanoplus bivittatus
ESM – Cicindela formosa generosa
ESO – Danaus plexippus
SEQ – Limenitis arthemis arthemis
AES – Rhagoletis pomonella
Lycose glaciale – Pardosa glacialis

 

Folded bandana showing design including symbols representing all provincial and national entomological societies

A new invasive weevil that is turning berry buds into duds in British Columbia

By Michelle Franklin, Paul Abram, and Tracy Hueppelsheuser

 

Most of the weevils we find in raspberry and strawberry fields in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia (BC) are nocturnal, so you would be hard pressed to find adult weevils without venturing out at night with your headlamp or flashlight.  However, in 2019 a curious small black weevil was observed during the day in a backyard raspberry patch in Abbotsford, BC.

The first specimens of this weevil were collected by Provincial Entomologist and coauthor, Tracy Hueppelsheuser from the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and sent to taxonomists and co-authors, Dr. Patrice Bouchard from the Canadian National Collection and Dr. Robert Anderson from the Canadian Museum of Nature for their expert identification. It turned out that this weevil was indeed new to the Fraser Valley, BC.  This tiny (2.5 – 3mm), black, long nosed weevil was the strawberry blossom weevil, Anthonomus rubi, which is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. This was the first observation of this species in North America.

Strawberry blossom weevil is not just a pest of strawberries.  It is able to feed and reproduce on a wide variety of plants in the family Rosaceae, including other economically important berry crops such as raspberries and blackberries.  Adult weevils overwinter in the leaf litter and become active in the spring.  After mating, the female chews a hole inside a closed flower bud, lays her egg inside, and then clips the stem below, killing the bud and preventing fruit development.  The weevil larva then develops inside the bud and emerges as an adult about a month later when temperatures are warm in the summer.  In its native range, the weevil  completes a single generation each year.

I started my position as a research scientist in July 2020, specializing in small fruit entomology and Integrated Pest Management at the Agassiz Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  With help from Paul Abram (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Tracy Hueppelsheuser (BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries), and crop consulting company, ES Cropconsult we hit the ground running, completing surveys in the Fraser Valley in the summer 2020 to determine the distribution and associated host plants of the strawberry blossom weevil.  We found adult weevils on cultivated plants (e.g. strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and rose) and wild hosts (e.g. salmonberry, thimbleberry, Himalayan blackberry, and wild rose).  Our survey found this species to be well established throughout the Fraser Valley from Richmond to Hope.

However, there is some good news for potential natural pest control.  Later during the summer we saw parasitoid wasps around weevil-damaged Himalayan blackberry buds.  We knew that some species of parasitoid wasps had the potential to be natural enemies of the weevil. Parasitoid wasps lay eggs on weevil larvae and their offspring often develop on the larvae resulting in their death. This behaviour has been successfully used as biological control of other weevil pests for decades. Hence, we initiated natural enemy surveys by collecting damaged buds from the field.  Although COVID protocols restricted lab access, I monitored damaged buds in my temporary laboratory (a.k.a home garage) and within a few weeks parasitoids emerged! Over the summer, we had over 150 parasitoids emerge from strawberry blossom weevil damaged buds. With the help of taxonomist and co-author, Dr. Gary Gibson from the Canadian National Collection, we identified the metallic-colored parasitoid to the genus Pteromalus. Future work is needed to identify the parasitoid to the species level, determine its origin (native to North America or inadvertently introduced from another continent), and determine its impact on strawberry blossom weevil populations.

I am continuing to work with my co-authors to understand the biology of this new pest and its natural enemies, with the goal of using this knowledge to develop sustainable pest management strategies in the future.  If you are interested in this new berry pest, please contact me at michelle.franklin@agr.gc.ca.

Free online access to article (until October 4, 2021): Click here

Links to information pages:

Strawberry blossom weevil – Anthonomus rubi Herbst – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (canada.ca)

Anthonomus rubi Detection in Canada Anthonomus rubi D tection au Canada | Phytosanitary Alert System (pestalerts.org)

Strawberry Blossom Weevil – Invasive Species Council of British Columbia (bcinvasives.ca)

Full article: https://doi.org/10.4039/tce.2021.28

Graduate Student Showcase 2021: Call for Applications

Graduate students are invited to apply to present their research at the Graduate Student Showcase (GSS), held during the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Entomological Society of Ontario (Nov 15-18, 2021). The purpose of the GSS is to provide a high-profile opportunity for graduate students near the completion of their degrees to present a more in-depth overview of their thesis research.

Applicants to the GSS must:

  • have defended or plan to defend their thesis at a Canadian University within one year of the meeting
  • be the principal investigator and principal author of the presented work
  • be registered at the meeting

Eligible candidates who wish to be considered for the GSS must submit a complete application to students@esc-sec.ca, following the instructions below. Items 1-3 must be submitted in a single PDF file named in the format “FamilyName_GSSapplication.pdf”.

1) Submit a 250 word abstract describing the proposed presentation highlighting their work,

2) Submit a 1 page (single-spaced, 12 point) outline of their research, including rationale/significance, methodology, and results to date,

3) Include a CV that includes a list of previous conference presentations and other presentation experience.

4) Arrange to have the principal supervisor email a letter of support in a PDF file that confirms the anticipated or actual date of graduation and comments on the proposed presentation and the applicant’s presentation and research abilities. Please ask your supervisor to name the letter of support in the format “FamilyName_GSSLetterOfSupport.pdf”, where Family Name is the applicant’s family name.

In addition to the above materials, applicants are welcome – but by no means required – to submit supplementary information about any factors that may have influenced their application (e.g., factors that may have limited access to publication or presentation opportunities). Please note that the supplementary information will be considered confidential, being viewed exclusively by members of the Graduate Student Showcase Selection Committee.

The GSS application deadline falls on the same day as the annual meeting deadline for contributed talks. For the 2021 GSS, all application materials must be submitted by September 13, 2021. We will select up to four (4) recipients. All applicants will be notified of the status of their application. Unsuccessful applicants to the GSS will have their talks automatically moved to a President’s Prize Oral session.

Differences between the GSS and the President’s Prize (PP) Competition include:

  • The GSS will take place in its own dedicated time slot; there will be no conflicting talks!
  • Presenters in the GSS are given more time to speak about their research (28 minutes total, 25 for the presentation & 3 for questions)
  • Abstracts for talks presented in the GSS are published in the ESC Bulletin, an open access publication, received by all ESC members.
  • The selection process for the GSS is competitive (only selected students speak), compared to the PP where all students who enter speak but only one per category receives a prize.
  • All presenters in the GSS receive an honorarium of $200.

We encourage and welcome applications from all eligible individuals, especially those who identify with groups that are underrepresented in STEM and entomology. The Entomological Society of Canada values diversity in all its forms and seeks to represent the breadth of Canadian entomological research and researcher identities through its GSS. Supervisors, please encourage your students to apply and please help us to spread the word! Any questions can be directed to students@esc-sec.ca.

Matt Muzzatti and Rowan French
Co-Chairs of ESC’s Student and Early Professional Affairs Committee (SEPAC)

ESC members are invited to a participate in a research study on interference with environmental research in Canada conducted by a Master’s Thesis student from the School of Resource and Environment Studies, at Dalhousie University.

Purpose: To document scientists’ perceptions of their ability to conduct and communicate environmental research in Canada.

Eligibility: If you are currently working in Canada in the field of environmental studies or sciences, you will be asked to answer questions about your work, personal demographics (e.g., career stage, gender, etc.) and to recount any experiences with interference in your ability to conduct or communicate your work.
This survey is anonymous. It should take you 20 – 30 minutes to complete.

Impact: Results from this academic research will be presented at national fora on science policy and decision-making and could have policy implications that will directly affect your future work.

Incentive: Participants who complete the survey will have the option to provide their email address to enter a draw and win one of three $50 gift cards or donations to the organization of their choice. Email addresses will be collected separately from the survey to maintain anonymity in responses and will be kept confidential.

 

The deadline to complete the survey is on or before 11:59pm ADT on Sunday, August 15, 2021.

Follow this link to the Survey: Interference in Science Survey Link

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: https://rowebusiness.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aeHh5GmYXUMfoXk

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the research team at woodlab@dal.ca.

Thank you very much. Your participation is important to us.

 

Sincerely,

Manjulika E. Robertson
on behalf of the Westwood Lab
School for Resource and Environment Studies
Dalhousie University, Halifax (K’jipuktuk), Nova Scotia

www.westwoodlab.ca || woodlab@dal.ca

The Entomological Society of Canada is looking to fill the position of Treasurer, beginning in autumn 2021. Please note that the Treasurer is considered an officer of the Society and is expected to attend the annual meeting of the Governing Board. The Treasurer’s cost of attending this meeting is covered by ESC in the event the Treasurer does not have funding from another source for such expenses.

The duties include, but are not limited to, custody of the Society’s funds, reporting on the finances of the Society when required, submitting a budget to the June Board meeting, submitting an audited financial statement at the end of each financial year to the membership by posting it in the members’ area of the Society’s website, overseeing the day-to-day business operations of the ESC, coordinating the assembly of achievement awards and certificates, and serving as an ex officio member of several committees. Previous experience with financial reporting and/or accounting would be an advantage, as is a general knowledge of the affairs of the Society. Please express your interest in the position to the President, Bill Riel, by 30 September 2021 (ESCPresident@ esc-sec.ca). The final selection will be made by an ad hoc committee convened by the President.

The American Arachnological Society is hosting a Virtual Conference Thursday June 24 – Thursday July 1. A Keynote address by Maydianne Andrade will open the meeting on the evening of the 24th. Program highlights include plenary talks by Mercedes Burns, Lauren Esposito, and Ivan Magalhães; oral and poster presentations; and a panel discussion and workshop on actions to dismantle racism and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in arachnology.

Abstract submission is now closed, but registration (only 20 USD) for the meeting and the associated events remains open until Monday June 14. Don’t miss this chance to participate in workshops on arachnid photography, collecting, and more, two movie nights (featuring Maratus and Sixteen Legs), a photography and art contest, and a virtual arachnid bioblitz!

Freely accessible events include a public talk about arachnids by Jillian Cowles, author of Amazing Arachnids (this talk will be livestreamed on youtube on Sunday June) and an Arachnid Q&A livestream with Isa Betancourt, host of The Bugscope.

Please contact meeting organizing committee member Catherine Scott if you have any questions, and follow the meeting on twitter at #Arachnids21 and @AAS_Arachnology.

Mating with castrated males induces females to oviposit

As I was picking up rotting fruit from the ground, a woman walked by and told me “pick the nice ones from the tree, you are going to get sick”. I was amused by her concern and explained that indeed I was looking for the rotting fruit. I was searching for the fly maggots that infest oranges and mangoes.

The Mexican fruit fly is a pest that can cause devastating effects for both small fruit farmers and exporters. Most people think of fruit flies as those pesky small flies around our ripening bananas, but those in reality are in the Family Drosophilidae, the vinegar fruit flies. The pests that I was looking for are called the true fruit flies and belong to the Family Tephritidae. The reason for this distinction is that the true fruit flies lay their eggs in fruits when they are still green on the tree, while the vinegar flies lay their eggs in ripening or rotting fruit. The eggs of the true fruit flies develop into maggots (larval flies) which eventually leave the fruit when it falls from the tree. Once on the ground, the maggots burrow into the soil and form a cocoon known as a pupa. Some species even have an unusual behaviour in which the maggots can coil and jump from the fruit into the soil. A few weeks later the adult emerges from the pupa; eats and matures sexually; mates; and then lay eggs into the fruit.

Some species from the Tephritidae are worldwide pests that cause huge losses in agriculture and commerce. Because no one wants to eat fruit with maggots inside, scientists have developed various control measures against these flies. One of the most successful and environmentally friendly means of control is called the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). This technique begins with mass-rearing of the insect in huge factories. Then the males are sterilized (so they cannot reproduce) and are released into the field where they will mate with the wild females. These mated females will not be able to lay fertile eggs in the fruit and so the number of flies in the next generation decreases. So SIT uses the pest as a type of its own “birth control” and reduces the use of harmful insecticides. By avoiding pesticide use, this method has the advantage of not targeting beneficial insects such as native bees.

For SIT to be effective, we need factory-produced males to be attractive to wild females and to successfully prevent the females from mating with other wild males that may be around. In my lab we are trying to understand how males that mate with females can cause the females to not mate with other males, and this has led us to studying the male ejaculate. It turns out that when males mate, they transfer to the female not just sperm, but a whole lot of other substances from the male accessory glands (MAGs). In many insects, these glands contain proteins that act as anti-aphrodisiacs, so that when females receive them after mating, they will not remate. The gland contents also stimulate the female of other species into laying more eggs. These are all very important behaviours when it comes to pests, as we do not want them to lay fertile eggs or mate again. The Mexican fruit fly has very complex male accessory glands, thus we are trying to find out what effect they have on the females. By injecting the contents of the MAGs into females, we observed that, contrary to what happens in other insects, they did not increase egg laying. So, the question still remains as to what the functions of Mexican fruit fly MAGs are.

Next, as the MAG contents do not increase egg laying, we wanted to find out about the whole ejaculate (MAG contents and sperm plus other components). Thus, we proceeded to cut the tip of the male penis (don´t worry they could still mate), so that they could not transfer any of their ejaculate. Surprisingly, we found that females that mated with these partially castrated males laid more eggs compared to virgin females that did not mate. This means that the internal and external aspects of the male copulatory courtship behavior that females receive during the mating is enough to stimulate them to lay eggs.

These results are important for two reasons: 1) studying MAGs can help us better develop control measures for these pests, with a better understanding on how mating affects female behaviour, and 2) we still know little about how various stimuli during mating affect female reproduction. As these are pests of economic importance to fruit growers, this knowledge will help us to further improve an environmentally friendly means of control.

–Diana Perez-Staples

 

Dear ESC members,

The ESC Science-Policy committee would like to draw your attention to the following call for expressions of interest for the Workshop on a Canadian Biodiversity Observation Network (CAN BON), due May 31st:

https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsDetail-DetailNouvelles_eng.asp?ID=1252

This call is for interested members to be involved in a federally-funded workshop. The main objectives of this workshop will be to:

  • obtain initial information on the state of biodiversity monitoring in Canada and the resources currently available to support monitoring
  • identify ways that a CAN BON could support local, regional, national and international efforts to conserve and restore biodiversity, including meeting Canada’s international commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity
  • initiate an inclusive approach to the design and implementation of a CAN BON drawing on perspectives from Indigenous peoples, scientists, government, private and public sectors—for Indigenous peoples, the expectation is to pursue a co-development approach to CAN BON that would allow equitable and meaningful participation of Indigenous peoples and a weaving of traditional knowledge and Western science
    Eligible groups include Canadian institutes, networks, or teams (including federal, provincial and territorial government groups) who are currently undertaking significant biodiversity monitoring activities and related research

Given the diversity and abundance of terrestrial invertebrate species in Canada, the ESC Science-Policy committee would like to encourage as many eligible groups as possible from ESC membership to apply to attend this workshop. Invertebrates are often neglected in monitoring efforts and resource allocation and, by having more representation at this workshop, there may be an opportunity to advocate for better taxonomic coverage and consideration in the future.

If you do choose to apply, please fill out this google form so we can keep track of the number of groups applying that could represent terrestrial invertebrates at this workshop. These results will be used for internal ESC purposes only. https://forms.gle/pYBX7z7xMJapSnQq7

2021 North American Forest Insect Work Conference

25-28 May 2021
Shaping Forests: Action in a Changing World

We are proud to announce that the final program has been published and is now available for your viewing pleasure!

Registration is now OPEN with early bird registration occurring until May 1!
Please visit the NAFIWC website to register!

Student Competition Judges: We are currently in search of nine judges for three sessions of student paper competitions all on Wednesday May 26th!
If you are able, please contact Kier Klepzig (kier.klepzig@jonesctr.org) or Rich Hofstetter (rich.hofstetter@nau.edu).

The NAFIWC 2021 Proceedings will be published as a USDA Forest Service General Technical Report, publicly available online. All presenters (talks and posters) are encouraged to submit a short synopsis of their work (1-3 pages maximum, including tables and figure as appropriate) for publication in the proceedings. Reports and abstracts will not be edited so please take care to provide a quality document. Please send submissions via email to Deepa Pureswaran at deepa.pureswaran@canada.ca by May 25. Submitted abstracts will be used lieu of synopses if not received by the deadline.

Check this site often, we will be announcing training sessions for virtual presentations for moderators and speakers soon!