Butterflies & Other Insects
BugGuide.net is an online community of volunteer naturalists that has created a knowledgebase for insects, spiders, butterflies, moths and related creatures in the U.S. and Canada. Hosted by Iowa State University Entomology, the site includes detailed guide pages with identification, images and information such as sighting locations, as well as an active forum, ID Requests, a calendar of events and a section for Frass (insect debris). Here you will find species and behaviors that you won't find anywhere else on the web.
Butterflies and Moths of North America: collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera
The Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) project is ambitious effort to collect and provide access to quality-controlled data about butterflies and moths. The project is hosted by the Butterfly and Moth Information Network and is directed by Kelly Lotts and Thomas Naberhaus. Our goal is to fill the needs of scientists and nature observers by bringing verified occurrence and life history data into one accessible location. BAMONA is a rich data source that grows daily. Citizen scientists of all ages and experience levels participate by taking photographs of butterflies and moths and then submitting their observations. Additional BAMONA data comes from museum and personal collections, published literature, and professional lepidopterists. Users can access species profiles, interactive distribution maps, and photographs by browsing checklists or taxonomy pages, or by searching for a species of interest.
Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility (CBIF)
As a member of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Canada is exploring new ways to improve the organization, exchange, correlation, and availability of primary data on biological species of interest to Canadians. The CBIF is made up of the five federal natural resource departments (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada and Natural Resources Canada) and other partners including Parks Canada. It has developed the tools such as the Integrated Taxonomic Information System for species found in Canada, the United States and Mexico; Species Access Canada; Online Mapping (a suite of online GIS applications accessible via from the GBIF data portal); and SpeciesBank.
- A substantial amount of information has been accumulated on Canadian species by researchers employed by federal, provincial, academic, and municipal agencies.
- An estimated 150,000 species of organisms live in Canada of which about half have been identified, named and classified.
- Well documented information on occurrence, distribution and basic ecology is available for only a small percentage (less than 5%) of known species, and very little of this information is readily accessible.
CBIF: The Butterflies of Canada
Including alphabetical and taxonomic indexes, an index of larval food plants, Canadian geography and butterfly distribution, butterfly gardening and butterfly conservation.
CBIF: The Moths of Canada
Including information on the Noctuoidea, Bombycoidea, Drepanoidea, Lasiocampoidea, Mimallonoidea and Geometroidea of Canada, categorized by region.
National Geographic: Monarch Butterfly Fact Sheet
Monarchs have the longest and largest insect migration in North America, traveling up to 8,000 km per year. The National Geographic Monarch Butterfly Fact Sheet includes physiology (average weight, wingspan, lifespan), Hhbitats, behaviours and range. You can also watch videos of a caterpillar as it begins to make its cocoon and a monarch butterfly break out of its cocoon.
National Geographic—“Winged Wonder: The Monarch Butterfly & Mapping Migrations”
Though a common presence in meadows and parks through the summer, the Monarch butterfly is still a constant source of fascination for everyone from accomplished entomologists to backyard naturalists, and as writer Dane Lanken discovers, the colourful insect has a life cycle that is as complex and fascinating as an animal 10 times its size.
Ontario Nature: Butterfly & Moth Guide
Founded in 1931, Ontario Nature represents and works with more than 30,000 members and supporters and 140 member groups across Ontario to protect Ontario’s habitats and wildlife, and connect people with nature, through research, conservation campaigns and public engagement. From spearheading the creation of a wilderness area in Algonquin Park in 1934 to working tirelessly for the creation of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan in 2001; publishing science-based research for scholars and education materials for young naturalists; advocating for Ontario's original Endangered Species Act 1971 to pushing for its timely revision in 2007, Ontario Nature has been at the forefront of the conservation movement in this province. Ontario Nature also publishes a magazine, recognizes contributions through its annual conservation awards, and its youth writing and art awards.
Parks Canada: Monarch Programs & Migration Fact Sheet
For a few special days each autumn, Point Pelee is a temporary home to thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies. As soon as favourable conditions occur, they begin one of nature's greatest journeys by crossing Lake Erie. They cannot linger, for their destination is some 3,000 km further south in the mountains of central Mexico! Why would this tiny insect make such a monumental journey?
Toronto Entomological Association
The Toronto Entomologists' Association (T.E.A.) is a registered nonprofit, mostly amateur 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. Based in Toronto, T.E.A. hosts regular meetings and fieldtrips, and its OntarioInsects.org website includes extensive information on the insects of Ontario, endangered species and gardening for butterflies.
- 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.