Scientific Monographs

The Biota of Canada

The Biological Survey of Canada has updated their seminal publication “Canada and Its Insect Fauna” (Danks 1979), with an all-new work: The Biota of Canada: Terrestrial Arthropods. This open-access work featuring 32 chapters by Canada’s top biodiversity experts was published in early 2019.

It is available online at: This is part of an on-going project, "The Biota of Canada", with a long-term goal of expanding beyond ter­restrial arthropods to other species groups in Canada. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to this project.

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The Biological Survey of Canada: A personal history

By H.V. Danks

In this book about the history of the Biological Survey of Canada, Hugh Danks combines his ability for impeccably correct reporting about Survey activities with a range of anecdotes and the inside story of the Survey’s development. His account shows how the Biological Survey came into being, how it operated, and why it was successful. The many products of the Survey are listed for reference in detailed appendices. This readable and organized analysis not only documents the Survey as a significant chapter in the history of entomology in Canada, but also provides wider lessons about the remarkable cooperation of the Canadian scientific community and the value of collaborative efforts.

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A Handbook to the Ticks of Canada

The new Handbook to the Ticks of Canada is an identification and information guide to all known active instars of the nine genera and forty species of ticks in Canada. Summaries are provided for the distribution, natural history and involvement of ticks in paralysis, and as reservoirs and vectors for a variety of pathogens, including Lyme borreliosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, relapsing fever, tularaemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever, Colorado tick fever, Powassan encephalitis, and others which affect humans, wildlife and domesticated animals. The guide is also fully applicable to the tick fauna of Alaska and the northern tier of contiguous American states bordering Canada.

The entire work is available for free download, and the book may be ordered through Volumes direct. Click on "More information" below for downloads and links to Volumes direct

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Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands - 4 Volume set

The Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands series is one of the main outcomes from the large Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands project of the BSC. With the publication of the series, the BSC hopes to increase awareness of the plight of Canada’s grasslands, to draw attention to its associated arthropods, and to provide a baseline reference to support future studies of arthropods in these environments.

Individual chapters are available for free download, and books may be ordered through Volumes direct. Click on "More information" below for downloads and links to Volumes direct.

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Insects of the Yukon

(H.V. Danks and J.A. Downes, editors)

This authoritative book brings together work on the insects of the Yukon by 35 international experts. 1997.

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Terrestrial arthropods of peatlands, with particular reference to Canada

Characterizes the fauna of these habitats by treatments of a range of taxonomic groups and by the results of two general surveys, providing an excellent baseline for future studies in peatlands. (A.T. Finnamore and S.A. Marshall (eds). 1994. Mem. ent. Soc. Can. 169. 289 pp.)

Systematics and entomology: diversity, distribution, adaptation and application

Through treatments of a variety of topics, demonstrates the pervasive value and importance of studies in systematics from various perspectives. (G.E. Ball and H.V. Danks (eds). 1993. Mem. ent. Soc. Can. 165. 272 pp.)

Arthropods of Springs, with particular reference to Canada

Summarizes current information on the ecology and systematics of faunas of a variety of spring types, and suggests ways to define spring habitats and needs for future research. (D.D. Williams and H.V. Danks (eds). 1991. Mem. ent. Soc. Can. 155. 217 pp.)

Spring Habitats and their faunas: An introductory bibliography

Intended to facilitate access to the available literature on springs, it lists and indexes 1,762 citations. (D.D. Williams and I.M. Smith. 1990. 156 pp.)

Illustrated Keys to the Families of Terrestrial Arthropods of Canada 1. Myriapods (millipedes, centipedes, etc.)

A profusely illustrated guide to the Canadian and northern United States families of millipedes, centipedes, pauropods and symphylans. (D.K. McE. Kevan and G.G.E. Scudder. 1989. 88 pp., plasticized soft-cover. 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", spiral-bound.).

Origins of the North American Insect Fauna

Documents the complex history and diverse origins of the North American insect fauna, treating both vicariance and dispersal and the inflow of various faunal elements from different potential gateways. (J.A. Downes and D.H. Kavanaugh (eds). 1988. Mem. ent. Soc. Can. 144. 168 pp.)

Insect Dormancy: An Ecological Perspective

A critically acclaimed treatment of a subject of wide interest. The book is a comprehensive and well-documented synthesis from a new ecological orientation of information on how dormancy and related adaptations help to control insect life cycles. (H.V. Danks. 1987. 439 pp., hard cover. 6 1/4" x 10"). Out of print but available here in electronic format.

Related documents

Aquatic Insects of Peatlands and Marshes in Canada

Summarizes current knowledge on the systematics and ecology of aquatic insects from these habitats, and identifies needs for research on the structure and dynamics of insect faunas of these important wetland areas. (D.M. Rosenberg and H.V. Danks (eds). 1987. Mem. ent. Soc. Can. 140. 174 pp.)

Bibliography of Arctic Arthropods of the Nearctic Region

Indexed list of 1,382 papers dealing with terrestrial arthropods north of treeline in Canada, Alaska and Greenland. (H.V. Danks. 1981. Entomological Society of Canada, Ottawa. 125 pp. 6 1/2" x 10", soft cover.)

Arctic Arthropods: A review of systematics and ecology with particular reference to the North American fauna

The definitive treatment of arctic arthropods. Considers features of the northlands, and the composition, distribution, adaptation, environmental relationships and other aspects of the arthropods that survive north of the treeline. (H.V. Danks. 1981. Entomological Society of Canada, Ottawa. 608 pp. 6 1/2" x 10", hard cover.)

Temporal and Spatial Changes in the North American Insect Fauna

Considers earlier geographical and climatic situations, current ranges, and the influence of man, in assessing the range of processes that have contributed to the present day fauna of Canada. (J.A. Downes (ed). 1981. Can. Ent. 112 (11): 1089 - 1238 [1980].)

Canada and Its Insect Fauna

The only complete baseline of information on the Canadian arthropod fauna. Through the work of sixty contributing authors, treats the physical environment of Canada and its history, habitats and arthropod distributions, the state of knowledge on each group, and the nature of the fauna. (H.V. Danks (ed). 1979. Mem. ent. Soc. Can. 108. 573 pp.)