Canadian Forest Service Publications

Potential indicator species of climate changes occurring in Québec, Part 1: the small brown lacewing fly Micromus posticus (Walker) (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae). 2013. LeSage, L.; Savard, K.; Klimaszewski, J. Biodivers. Data J. 1:e970.

Year: 2013

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35115

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.1.e970

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Mark record


Micromus posticus (Walker) is a small brown lacewing fly rarely collected in Canada and represented in collections by only a limited number of specimens. Indeed, fewer than 50 specimens were captured in Québec and Ontario over the last century, all within a small area delimited by the northern shore of Lake Erie, Ottawa and Montréal. Aylmer, located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, northwest of Ottawa, is a new, most southwestern locality record of this species for Québec. The Aylmer specimens were collected 1-7 days later than any of the known specimens collected elsewhere in Québec or in Ontario, and 16-22 days later than in the neighbouring localities, indicating an apparent phenological shift.

Plain Language Summary

The objective of this study was to provide new information on the distribution of Micromus and its seasonal migration to Quebec.

Micromus posticus, an indigenous insect whose larvae eat aphids, could become an indicator of climate change. This insect, which usually lives in the southern part of Canada, is fairly rare, although in the past few years, it has become more present in more northern regions in eastern Canada, including Quebec.

The milder climate conditions in the fall and winter due to climate change may favour some insects, including Micromus. These conditions could result in an extended flight period in the fall, which would allow the insects to travel longer distances. This may explain the increase in insect captures further north. By monitoring changes in the more northern capture locations of this insect, researchers will be able to determine the evolution of climate change in the province.