Meadow Spittlebugs Declining Along California Coastline: Karban/Huntzingernewly published research in the journal Ecology.
Professor Karban of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, who has maintained a study site at Bodega Marine Reserve in central California since 1982, links the decrease to temperature.
“I've been surveying seaside daisies for spittlebugs at Bodega Bay every spring for the past 35 years and found that the number of these highly visible and previously widespread insects was related to temperature,” Karban said.
However, since the spring of 2006, the UC Davis researchers have found no spittle masses on the Bodega Bay Reserve's coastal prairie. Other researchers have also detailed how sensitive spittlebugs are to environmental conditions. -more-
Bohart Museum Open House: 'Extreme Insects, Fire and Ice'
Have you ever seen an ambrosia beetle, a red turpentine beetle, an ice cricket, a brine fly or a sand wasp?
You will if you attend the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on “Extreme Insects: Fire and Ice,” on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 19.
The public event, to take place from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, is free and family friendly. It will emphasize "fire and insects."
“There are a number of species that are specifically attracted by smoke to damaged trees,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. “Wildland fire fighters hate them because some of the beetles fly at them, crawling into their turnouts and biting them. Fire insects include jewel beetles, some horntail wasps and a few others."
In addition to fire insects, Kimsey said that the Bohart open house will cover other insects adapted to extremes:
- Ice: ice crickets and ice flies, both native to California
- Extreme acid: midges that live only in highly acidic mine run-off
- Hot water: midges found in hot springs just below the boiling point
- Salt: the brine flies of Mono Lake.
- Desert: sand wasps
What These Third Graders Learned About Bees at UC Davis Pollination Education Program
Postdoctoral scholar Laura Brutscher of the Elina Lastro Niño lab kneels by an educational beekeeping display: a beehive, a smoker, a hive tool and beekeeper protective gear. She is staffing one of five interactive learning stations assembled in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's bee garden, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, to teach third-graders from Amador County the importance of bees and other pollinators.
Brutscher discusses the residents of the hive: the queen, worker bees (females) and drones (males). The third-graders, sitting, standing or kneeling in the garden, listen to her wide-eyed.
“Who knows what the job of a drone is?” Brutscher asks.
A hand shoots up. “The drones protect the queen!” a boy declares. -more-
Six UC Davis/UC ANR Communicators Win International Awards
They brought home five gold or first-place awards: three silver or second-place awards; and two bronze or third-place awards. “That was quite a haul!” commented an ACE member on Facebook.
- Diane Nelson, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, two golds
- Kathy Keatley Garvey, Department of Entomology and Nematology, one gold and one silver
- Jim Downing, California Agriculture journal, gold
- David Slipher, College of Biological Sciences, gold
- Steve Elliott, Western IPM Center, two silvers and a bronze
- Gregory Watry, College of Biological Sciences, bronze
Entomology figured prominently in the award presentations. The news story that won gold involved a visit to the Bohart Museum of Entomology by children of California migratory workers. The blog, posted on Bug Squad and titled "Once Upon a Monarch," featured the life cycle of a butterfly. -more-
Odorant Receptor Genes Found in Wingless Insects
Doctoral candidate Philipp Brand and his colleagues at the University of California, Davis, had just finished compiling the genome or complete set of genetic material of the firebrat--a tiny wingless, nocturnal insect found throughout much of the world--when something surprised him.
There they were--odorant receptor genes, the scent-detecting genes thought to have evolved with winged insects more than 400 million years ago. But this groundbreaking discovery indicates they evolved millions of years earlier.
The sensory gene is considered one of an insect's most important genes, crucial to foraging, mating and avoiding predators.
The collaborative result: “The Origin of the Odorant Receptor Gene Family in Insects,” a newly published paper by a seven-member team from UC Davis, University of Illinois and the University of Tennessee, in the open-access journal eLife, which prints promising research in the life and medical sciences. The article is online at https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.38340.
Brian Johnson, associate professor of entomology and graduate student Wei Lin are co-authors. See news story
Christian Nansen Research Paper: How Plants Are Like Animals in Response to Predators
If you're a plant and an insect is attacking you, you can communicate your stress to nearby plants as a way to alert them about potential danger--very similar to how animals communicate or respond to predators.
In groundbreaking research published in the journal Plant Methods, UC Davis agricultural entomologist Christian Nansen of the Department of Entomology and Nematology and his team of six colleagues from Brazil discovered that plant-plant communication causes physiological changes in plants and these subtle changes can be detected via analyses of leaf reflectance or hyperspectral imaging. The article is titled “Hyperspectral Imaging to Characterize Plant-Plant Communication in Response to Insect Herbivory." -more-
Hashimoto-Hammock Research: NIEHS Paper of the Month
A research paper on Parkinson's disease that's the work of scientists at Chiba University, Japan, and the University of California, Davis, has been selected as an “Extramural Paper of the Month” by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
The paper, which indicates that a brain enzyme could play a key role in curbing or preventing the progression of Parkinson's disease, is one of four singled out as exemplary on the NIEHS website.
he paper, which indicates that a brain enzyme could play a key role in curbing or preventing the progression of Parkinson's disease, is one of four singled out as exemplary on the NIEHS website.
“This could be a “revolutionary paper that could cure Parkinson's disease,” commented co-author Bruce Hammock, a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology with a joint appointment with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the 30-year director of the UC Davis NIEHS Superfund Program, which helped fund the research. "A related compound to the drug used in the paper will enter human safety traials sponsored by NIH in early 2019." -more-
Frank Zalom: Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Economic EntomologyFrank Zalom, distinguished professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and a past president of the Entomological Society of the America (ESA) is the newly selected editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Entomology, the largest and most cited of ESA's family of scientific journals.
The ESA Governing Board today announced that Zalom will succeed John Trumble, distinguished professor of entomology at UC Riverside. Trumble, editor-in-chief for 20 years, informed ESA in late 2017 of his intent to leave the role in 2018. In January, the journal's editorial board launched a widespread search for his successor.
A 43-member of ESA and the 2014 president, Zalom will serve a five-year term as editor-in-chief. The journal publishes research on the economic significance of insects. It includes sections on apiculture and social insects, insecticides, biological control, household and structural insects, crop protection, forest entomology, and other topics. -more-
Bee Haven Now Staffed on Friday Mornings
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematolgy's bee garden, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is now being staffed on Friday mornings from 10 to noon. Visitors can view the display case, and check out a "catch and release" bee vacuums. Bee guides and plants will be for sale. The site is located on Bee Biology Road, next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
In addition, the haven is serving as a collection point for local food banks. Additional produce can be donated there between 7 and 9 a.m. on Wednesdays.
A Tribute to a Legend: John Casida
Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars trained by world-renowned entomologist and toxicologist John Casida of the University of California, Berkeley, are memorializing him for his powerful impact on science and his non-wavering impact on their careers and lives.
Casida, 88, one of the world's leading authority on how pesticides work and their effect on humans, died June 30 of a heart attack in his sleep at his home in Berkeley. He was considered the most preeminent pesticide toxicologist over at least the last two centuries.
A distinguished professor emeritus of environmental science, policy and management and of nutritional sciences and toxicology, Casida was the founding director of the campus's Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory.
Read what former graduate student Bruce Hammock and others wrote about their major professor. -more-
Watch the UC Davis Museum Biodiversity Day Video
Watch the newly published UC Davis Museum Biodiversity Day video on YouTube. UC Davis undergraduate student Alexander Fisher-Wagner filmed and edited the video. UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day, free and open to the public, is a celebration of the vast diversity of life on Earth, both past and present, said coordinator Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. This year's event, the seventh annual, took place Saturday, Feb. 17 and was an opportunity to explore 13 different biodiversity-related collections on the UC Davis campus, many of which are not usually open to the public. The 2019 event is scheduled Feb. 16.
UC Davis Entomology Ranked Among Best in the WorldTimes Higher Education World University Rankings.
The rankings show UC Davis as No. 7 globally, scoring 89.88 of a possible 100. Of the top 10, two are in California. UC Riverside is ranked as No. 2.
Performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff students and research) and industry outcome (knowledge transfer). -more-
In the Spotlight
- Department News
- Listen to Kent Daane Seminar on Spotted Wing Drosophila
- Why War on Cancer Is Winnable: Jay Rosenheim
- Center for Population Biology Seminars
- Lynn Kimsey Quoted in Atlantic: Wasps
- Schedule of Events at the Bee Haven
- Eric Mussen Honored
- UC Davis Entomology Seminars Posted on UCTV
- Order a EGSA T-Shirt!
- Migrant Education Program Visited Students Visit the Bohart
- Christian Nansen: Drone Program
- Shirley Gee: 40 Years of Service
- Anthony Cornel: Novel Way to Render Female Mosquitoes Infertile
- Rick Karban's Plant Communication Book
- Watch UC Davis Bee Symposium Presentations on YouTube
- Eric Grissell: Giving Back
- History of Our Bee Garden
- 'I Wanna Be an Entomologist' by Heather Wilson
Blogs, Books, and Other Connections
- Ecology 180 Blog; class led by Louie Yang
- Alex Wild's Compound Eye Blog: Some of Best Nature/Science Photographs
- UC Davis Department of Entomology (Facebook)
- Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility (Facebook)
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven (Facebook)
- E.L. Niño Bee Lab (Facebook)
- Bug Squad blog (Kathy Keatley Garvey)
- Robbin Thorp Co-Author of California Bees and Blooms
- Robbin Thorp Co-Author of Bumble Bees of North America
- Apiary newsletter, from the UC apiaries (Elina L. Niño)
- Apiary newsletter, from the UC apiaries (archived, Eric Mussen)
- New Ant Book (free): Photos by Alex Wild
- Insect Note Cards, Benefitting UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center
|Bohart Museum Open House on Aug. 19||8/19/2018|
|Bohart Museum Open House on Sept. 22||9/22/2018|
|UC Davis Arboreteum Plant Sale||9/29/2018|
|9th International Oak Society Conference||10/21/2018|
Bee Biology Website, the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility is under construction. (See archives. See history of bee garden)
Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven Also see Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven Annual Report
Apiary Newsletters (archived copies, Eric Mussen)
How to Write Like a Professor (James R. Carey)
What's This Bug? (CDFA)