Insects and spiders

  • Black purse-web spider (Photo by Rob Craig, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)
    Black purse-web spider

    The Black Purse-Web spider can be quite elusive. Recently, it was found on NCC’s Hazel Bird Nature Reserve property, located within the Rice Lake Plains in Ontario. It is the only arachnid in Ontario that belongs to the tarantula group.

  • A female black widow spider (Photo from the Wikipedia Commons)
    Black widow

    While the common image of the black widow is its all-black body, eight spindly legs and signature red hourglass boldly displayed across its abdomen, that description is strictly for the ladies.

  • Blue orchard bee (Photo by Robert Engelhardt)
    Blue orchard mason bee

    At first glance, the blue orchard mason bee appears black, but is actually a dark metallic blue-green.

  • Dakota skipper (Photo by Phil Delphey/Wikimedia Commons)
    Dakota skipper

    Native to North America, the Dakota skipper is part of the skipper family and gets its name from its unique “skipping” flight.

  • Ghost tiger beetle (Photo by Stephen A. Marshall)
    Ghost tiger beetle

    Ghost tiger beetles are so well camouflaged against their surroundings that it’s sometimes easier to see their shadows.

  • Gibson's big sand tiger beetle (Photo by Ted MacRae)
    Gibson's big sand tiger beetle

    One of North America’s largest tiger beetles, the Gibson’s big sand tiger beetle is among the insect world’s fiercest predators.

  • Karner blue male (Photo by
    Karner blue

    With a wingspan of about 25 millimetres, this tiny iridescent blue (male) or greyish brown (female) butterfly is hard to spot among the blossoms it feeds on.

  • Monarch perches on New England aster, Pelee Island, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

    In Canada, monarchs exist primarily wherever milkweed and wildflowers, such as goldenrod and aster, are found. These plants grow in open spaces such as the vast Tall Grass Prairie in Manitoba and on Ontario's Rice Lake Plains.

  • NCC’s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area protects Canada’s only population of endangered Poweshiek skipperling. (Photo by NCC)
    Poweshiek skipperling

    The Poweshiek skipperling is a small, brown and orange winged butterfly, no bigger than a toonie. The insect is so small that it often goes overlooked; but in Manitoba, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is paying close attention to this species and its plight in order to ensure its survival.

  • Red admiral butterfly (Photo by NCC)
    Red admiral

    The distinctive black, orange and white red admiral is one of the most commonly seen butterflies, with a range extending from New Zealand to North America.

  • Rusty-patched bumble bee (Photo by USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab/Wikimedia Commons)
    Rusty-patched bumble bee

    Despite its small size, the rusty-patched bumble bee is a heavy hitter when it comes to the conservation of fellow pollinators and native flowers.

  • West Virginia white butterfly (Photo by Randy L. Emmitt)
    West Virginia white

    The West Virginia white is one of the first native butterflies to emerge each spring. Its beautiful white wings appear translucent in the light of the sun, with the grey-brown wing veins looking like a pattern of intricate lace.

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