Newsletter of the Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods)

Volume 27 No. 1, Spring 2008


Project Update: The Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification is on a roll

Andrew Smith
Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods), Canadian Museum of Nature, P.O. Box 3443, Station D, Ottawa, ON K1P 6P4

General information and editorial notes

News and Notes:

Bio-Blitz 2008

The first curation blitz

Biological Survey of Canada symposium

Summary of the Scientific
Committee meeting    

Insects of the Yukon price

BSC Vision document

Project Update: Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification

First record of Armadillidium vulgare from Quebec

Web site notes

The biodiversity of beetles in the Maritime provinces

Arctic Corner

Historical changes in the biodiversity of Muscidae and Fanniidae of Churchill

Impacts to the invertebrate community structure of aquatic systems in Nunavut

Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago published

Selected future conferences

List of Requests for Material or Information



The Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification (CJAI) has quickly become the flagship periodical of the Biological Survey of Canada. Four new issues have been published in the past few months on bees, mosquitoes, vespid wasps, and bee flies. These four image-rich identification guides combine to almost 700 pages covering dozens of Canadian genera and hundreds of Canadian species of insects. Looking ahead, the editors report that there are manuscripts in the works for many other taxa, including: orthopteroids, heptageniid mayflies, Psocoptera, and the Diptera families Tephritidae, Stratiomyidae, and Clusiidae. The first two issues on Mecoptera and blood and tissue feeding mites were published in 2006.

The purpose of the CJAI is to provide a widely distributed, freely accessible publication outlet for researchers who would like to disseminate identification guides that include Canadian taxa. The journal is peer-reviewed, has a 14-member editorial board, and provides technical editing for images and digital keys. The CJAI has financial and technical support of the Biological Survey Foundation, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the University of Guelph, and the University of Alberta. This support will allow the CJAI to publish without page charges for the foreseeable future.

The CJAI is broad in scope, and manuscripts dealing with any group of Arthropods with species occurring in Canada will be considered for publication by the editors. The focus of individual manuscripts, however, need not be solely on the Canadian species. Identification guides to taxa in North America, the northern hemisphere, the world, etc. are all welcomed. Manuscripts with a more regional focus on Canada or parts of Canada have formed the core of the journal so far and are highly encouraged. It should also be noted that new taxa cannot be described in the CJAI, but this may change in the future. Other taxonomic and classification changes (such as synonymies, subspecies elevations, etc.) are permitted.

In December of 2007, Editor in Chief Steve Marshall was invited to the Entomological Collections Network annual meeting in San Diego, California to give a presentation on the CJAI. His presentation was part of a symposium on the future of entomological and other scientific publications. The CJAI was showcased as an example of the future of scientific publications with electronic distribution and open access to everyone through the Internet. The journal was very well received by the attendees of this meeting and by the greater entomological community in North America. Many entomologists would like to see more scientific publications emulate the CJAI and other open access electronic journals.

If you have questions or ideas about manuscripts for the Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification, please contact Steve Marshall <>, the Editor in Chief. More information on the CJAI and all of the published issues can be found at:

CJAI 3: The bee genera of eastern Canada by Laurence Packer, Julio A. Genaro, and Cory S. Sheffield
Abstract. The 39 genera of bees found in Canada east of Manitoba are keyed in dichotomous format with all key features illustrated. Habitus photographs of males and females of representatives of all genera are provided. The biology of bees in general, and outlines of the biology of each genus are summarized.


CJAI 4: Photographic key to the adult female mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of Canada by Aynsley C. Thielman and Fiona F. Hunter
Abstract. There are currently 82 species of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in 10 genera known from Canada. Dichotomous keys to the adult females are provided in two formats (HTML and PDF). Photographs of diagnostic characters accompany the text descriptions in each couplet for ease in identification.
Included are: an introduction to mosquito identification, instructions for using this particular key, anatomical diagrams, and a glossary of terms. Descriptions of recently introduced and potential species are also provided.


CJAI 5: Identification atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the northeastern Nearctic region by Matthias Buck, Stephen A. Marshall, and David K.B. Cheung
Abstract. The Vespidae of the northeastern Nearctic region are reviewed to include 92 established and four adventitious species. Six undescribed species (two each in Ancistrocerus, Euodynerus and Polistes) are recognised for the first time. Three former subspecies, Euodynerus blakeanus Cameron (subspecies of E. foraminatus de Saussure), Ancistrocerus albophaleratus de Saussure (subspecies of A. catskill de Saussure) and A. albolacteus Bequaert (subspecies of A. adiabatus de Saussure) are re-instated as or elevated to good species. Parancistrocerus vogti (Krombein) is synonymized with P. fulvipes (de Saussure).
A brief introduction to the morphology, biology and distribution of Vespidae is given. Keys to subfamilies, genera and species are provided, and illustrated with 60 photographic plates (437 images) showing most diagnostic characters. All species are illustrated on 287 separate plates by means of (i) a set of standard photographs of pinned specimens (habitus lateral and dorsal, head of male and female; 537 images), and, where available, (ii) photographs of live specimens in the field (99 images). The variation (especially colour) of most species is described in detail and supplemented with brief information on distribution and biology. Twenty-two species (including five adventitious species) are recorded for the first time from Canada and numerous new state records for the U.S. are given.


CJAI 6: The bee flies (Diptera: Bombyliidae) of Ontario, with a key to the species of eastern Canada by Joel H. Kits, Stephen A. Marshall, and Neal L. Evenhuis
Abstract. Illustrated dichotomous keys to the 73 bee fly species of 25 genera occurring in or adjacent to eastern Canada are presented. Thirty-two of these species represent new or previously unrecognized records for Ontario. We review the distributions of these species in Ontario, focusing on rarely collected and habitat-restricted species, and summarize host use when known.






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