'BYOB' Really Means 'Bring Your Own Bug'; UC Davis Linnaean Team Educates Folks About Bugs on Good Day Sacramento
Jan. 18, 2011
Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey (right) of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and coach-advisor of the Linnaean Team answers a question from the TV anchors. In back are Linnaean teammates Meredith Cenzer and Matan Shelomi. News anchor Mark Mathias (far left) of Good Day Sacramento, talks with Andrew Merwin (center) and Ralph Washington. This Madagascar hissing cockroach, held here by Ralph Washington, proved a big hit at the TV show. (Photos of Good Day Sacramento TV screen by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
DAVIS--BYOB really means "Bring Your Own Bug."
It was BYOB on Tuesday, Jan. 18 when UC Davis Department of Entomology's Linnaean Team, coached by Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey, arrived at 6:45 a.m. on the set of Good Day Sacramento.
Team members Meredith Cenzer, Andrew Merwin, Matan Shelomi, all graduate students in entomology, and Ralph Washington, a prospective graduate student, brought along Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks from the Bohart Museum of Entomology; and soapberry bugs from professor Sharon Lawler's lab. (Investigators Hugh Dingle and Scott Carroll study soapberry bugs.)
The news crew had asked members of the Linnaean Team to bring their favorite bugs and to bring questions to stump anchors Nick Tomas and Mark Mathias.
They did and they did.
The team recently competed in the national Linnaean Games, a college-bowl type competition held at the annual Entomological Society of America meeting.
Godfrey quizzed news anchors Nick Tomas and Mark Mathias on their knowledge of insects. If they answered incorrectly, they received temporary custody of a bug.
The score: Bugs, 3; Anchors, 0.
Name the Robert Frost poem that includes the line “An ant on a table cloth ran into a dormant moth of many times his size.”
The answer was not “Ants in Your Pants” (as suggested) but “Departmental.”
Another question: “What insect was used as a symbol for the film, The Silence of the Lambs, and what is unusual about the insect’s food habits?”
One of the anchors answered “butterfly” but was asked to be more specific. “No, little more detail, little more detail,” Godfrey coaxed. The answer. “Death’s-Head Hawkmoth” and it raids beehives (Apis mellifera) for the honey.
The third question dealt with the vedalia beetle: “Where was the vedalia beetle released for the control of cottony cushion scale and what industry did it save?”
“Southeast" and "Cotton?" No. “It was released in California," Godfrey said, "and it saved the citrus industry.”
Merwin studies with major professor Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology; Cenzer with major professor Louie Yang; and Shelomi with major profesor Lynn Kimsey. Washington received his bachelor's degree in entomology from UC Davis last year and plans to enroll in graduate school.
The UC Davis team now heads to the next competition, the Linnaean Games at the ESA Pacific Branch meeting, set March 27-30 in Hawaii. Each ESA branch can send two teams to the nationals. Reno is hosting the ESA's 59th annual meeting Nov. 13-16.
To see the Good Day Sacramento video, access this link and search for "Linnaean" and "Bug Invasion." There are two segments.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology