Incredible Insects: The science of bugging out

Incredible Insects: The science of bugging out
A 'Polyphemus Moth' – a species of moth often seen in eastern Ontario.

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the fourth family workshop at the St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre in Cornwall next week.

The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences will host a free insect information session at the centre on Saturday, August 16. The event runs noon to 4 p.m.

Is a spider an insect? What is an invertebrate? River Institute scientists and educators will provide all kinds of interesting information and lead hands-on activities that will answer those questions.

“Insects are important because they are indicators of the health of local ecosystems, including our water quality,” said Lacey MacDonald, Biodiversity project coordinator at the River Institute. “By being able to identify what species of insects are located in specific areas we can actually determine what is going on with our environment.”

Research scientist Brian ‘Batman’ Hickey, Lisa Migneault, education coordinator, and summer students at the River Institute will also be in attendance at the jam-packed afternoon dedicated to bugs.

Karen Douglass, communications officer, noted that visitors can take a microscopic look at preserved specimens by exploring the River Institute’s large insect collection.

“They can learn all about interesting insect adaptations and their biological importance,” said Douglass. “Opportunities to track, net, handle and identify live insects will also be provided.”

Workshops can be signed up for upon arrival at the centre, 2500B Second Street West.

The next workshop scheduled with OPG at the Visitor Centre takes place on Saturday, September 20 (noon – 4 p.m.) with Birds in our Backyard.

For more details, visit or call the River Institute at (613)936-6620 for more information.


The OPG Visitor Centre offers displays and interactive exhibits that describe the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project construction story and its effects on the nearby communities. 

Visitors can learn and observe how OPG safely generates electricity at its nuclear, thermal and hydro generating stations located across Ontario. The Centre is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Visit for details or call 613-932-4563 ext. 3523 for more information.

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