Summary of All Projects

General interests of the Biological Survey of Canada include:

  • Collections and collections policies
  • Systematics and entomology
  • Study of biodiversity
  • Databasing
  • Invasions and reductions
    Long-standing interest in invasive species and their effect on native fauna was focussed on analysis through a symposium and databases, and in a specific project on lady beetles in Canada. An international symposium on the  Ecological impacts of Non-Native Invertebrates and Fungi on Terrestrial Ecosystems was held November 18, 2006 at the 2006 joint Annual Meeting of the ESC and SEQ in Montreal. Invited symposium papers, with a small number of additional titles, were published in a special issue of Biological Invasions.

Several other projects, for example on aquatic insects of freshwater wetlands, arthropods of Canadian peatlands, arthropods of springs, seasonal adaptations and insects of the Yukon have evolved to staging points that allow the Survey to be less actively involved. The results of these projects, as well as work from continuing projects, are summarized in various scientific publications by the Survey.

A relatively small number of specific scientific projects of the Survey are carefully chosen because of their scientific importance in understanding the fauna, as well as their current feasibility. For more current project updates please refer to the Newsletter of the Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods).

The Biota of Canada

The Biological Survey of Canada has been documenting the arthropod fauna of Canada since 1979, and has recently published a major volume updating faunistic information on the terrestrial arthropods of Canada, which can be found here. The BSC is interested in expanding coverage to include all living organisms in Canada. We seek partners to collate, summarize, analyze, and disseminate information on non‐arthropod species. Please get in touch with the BSC Secretary at if you are interested in getting involved in this project.

Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands

A long‐running project of the BSC on Canadian Grasslands culminated in 2014 with publication of the final volumes of the four‐volume Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands, and a summary the project in 2017 (Floate et al. 2017. Arthropods of Canadian grasslands: a retrospective of a 40‐year project of the Biological Survey of Canada). The goal of the project was to collect and synthesise information on the native arthropod fauna of the vanishing grassland habitats of Canada.

See also the Grasslands project page on this website.


BSC BioBlitz are organized annually when possible, to support BSC projects and initiatives, and to help increase the scientific knowledge of arthropods in different regions of Canada. Curation Blitzes are also held to encourage members of the entomological community to gather at an under-curated collection and assess and identify the material. See the BioBlitz page for more information and reports from past BioBlitzes.

Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification

The Biological Survey of Canada has launched a new e-journal in 2006 to publish works that contribute significantly to the recognition of Canada's arthropod fauna. The Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification is a modular, regional, and fully reviewed e-journal of the Biological Survey of Canada and the Entomological Society of Canada. It is a significant source of expert-authored taxonomic reviews and associated digital identification tools. It is a cost-effective and universally available tool for rapid arthropod identification, meeting user demand while providing authors with a unique opportunity to contribute to a growing body of digital identification tools by sharing their regional taxonomic expertise. We encourage the submission of digital keys and associated products that facilitate the identification of arthropod groups that include Canadian species. The Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification is fully reviewed to ensure uniformly high standards.

Terrestrial Arthropods of Newfoundland and Labrador

The fauna of Newfoundland is of particular interest in a Canadian context as a boreal fauna that includes mainly postglacial immigration from the mainland. A complete treatment of the arthropod fauna is being developed from new collecting and study of existing collections and literature. See also the Terrestrial arthropods of Newfoundland and Labrador project page on this website.

Biological Survey of Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park is a biodiversity hotspot in western Canada. The meeting of prairies, montane, subalpine and alpine habitats in this small (505 km2 area) has brought distinct faunas into close proximity. Since the 2005 BSC-organized BioBlitz in WLNP, the BSC has lead a Biological Survey of the park, largely focused to date on invertebrates. Many new provincial and Canadian records, as well as new species have been discovered there. Participation in this survey is open to members of the BSC.

Page updated on May 19, 2020