Hymenoptera of Canada


Bennett, A.M.R., Sheffield, C.S. and deWaard J.R. 2019. Hymenoptera of Canada. In Langor D.W., Sheffield C.S. (Eds.) The Biota of Canada – A Biodiversity Assessment. Part 1: The Terrestrial Arthropods. Zookeys, 819: 311-360.

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This paper summarizes the 8757 species of ants, bees and wasps (order Hymenoptera) recorded in Canada. It provides numbers of species, general biology and important literature for each of the 83 families of Hymenoptera recorded. It is estimated that there are more unrecorded species of Hymenoptera in Canada (10,300 species) than recorded. The number of species of Hymenoptera recorded in Canada has increased by 46% since the last survey in 1979. This study is important because it is provides baseline knowledge that allows us to know when new, invasive (potentially pest) species enter Canada.


A summary of the numbers of species of the 83 families of Hymenoptera recorded in Canada is provided. In
total, 8757 described species are recorded compared to approximately 6000 in 1979, which is a 46% increase.
Of the families recognized in 1979, three have been newly recorded to Canada since the previous survey:
Anaxyelidae (Anaxyleoidea), Liopteridae (Cynipoidea), and Mymarommatidae (Mymarommatoidea). More
than 18,400 BINs of Canadian Hymenoptera are available in the Barcode of Life Data Systems (Ratnasingham
and Hebert 2007) implying that nearly 9650 undescribed or unrecorded species of Hymenoptera may
be present in Canada (and more than 10,300 when taking into account additional species that have not been
DNA barcoded). The estimated number of unrecorded species is very similar to that of 1979 (10,637 species), but the percentage of the fauna described/recorded has increased from 36% in 1979 to approximately 45% in 2018. Summaries of the state of knowledge of the major groups of Hymenoptera are presented, including brief comments on numbers of species, biology, changes in classification since 1979, and relevant taxonomic references.

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