Entomologist Lisa Poirier is excited.
Poirier, an associate professor at the University of Northern British Columbia, is part of a team of researchers who have collected insect samples in and around Prince George, B.C. — and, by the looks of it, they have uncovered some creepy crawlers never documented before.
The team collected more than 200 different insects and while Poirier says other experts will need to review the samples before saying anything definitive, she believes many of them have been going about their bug business undetected by scientists until now.
"There is never a dull moment, there is always something new when you study insects," said Poirier Friday on Daybreak North.
Poirier said a parasitic wasp found living in the region has never been documented before.
Roughly one millimetre in length, the yet unnamed wasp lays eggs in or on other insects, producing larvae that also lives in or on the host insect and likely kills it, she said.
"This is all going on completely unseen by most people and I think that's cool," said Poirier.
Why bugs matter
According to Poirier, the central Interior plateau region of B.C. has long been neglected in terms of biodiversity surveys.
She said not knowing what bugs live in a region makes it hard for scientists to know if an insect never seen before has always been there, or if its presence is due to climate change.
"Unless we have baseline data about what's here now, we can't tell you what has changed," said Poirier.
She said the next step for project researchers is to sort the samples and compare those found in the forest to those found in industrial or residential areas.
To hear Lisa Poirer speak more about insect discoveries near Prince George on Daybreak North, tap here.