Andrew Smith

“You would definitely find interesting beetles and other insects in Centretown or any downtown area. In fact, you know, we routinely find specimens of these big wood-boring beetles that just appear on a city sidewalk, and that’s because maybe there’s a big old oak tree nearby, part of the roots are rotting and the larvae are developing in the roots, and then just appearing out and walking down a sidewalk, so that’s something that’s pretty commonly seen. Although, you know, in a city setting, you don’t have a lot of natural habitat with dead fall and rotting trees, rotting trunks, you know, lots of leaf litter that’s typically cleaned up, which is unfortunate because that gets rid of a lot of the insects as well. I would only be guessing, but there’s easily hundreds of species of beetles in the Ottawa area, and like I say, out in areas where there’s more natural habitat, you’re going to get a lot more diversity, because that’s where, you know, there’s structure to the ecosystem, but there are things that do amazingly well right in the middle of city too. I think even one is surprising to me because, you know, people would think that the city would be devoid of bugs, but obviously that’s not true because I see bugs all the time. You can find little pockets of habitat, like for example, I always thought the back of Parliament Hill, it’s a big hill that goes down to the river, it’s really hard to access and it’s really steep, but there’s amazing natural habitat there, and I bet you if we got in there and did some sort of beetle survey, we’d find all kinds of really interesting native things that are just existing and living there. There’s lots of little pockets of areas like that around creeks and rivers and in parks that you would get a lot of native species.” -Canadian Museum of Nature, Entomologist


Make sure to explore the Bug Adventure Exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature! It’s available until October 14th.

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