‘Entomology’s Most Wanted’ Depicted on Prize-Winning T-Shirt
Dec. 1, 2011
Graduate student Emily Bzdyk is the artist behind "Entomology's Most Wanted" and graduate student Nicholas Herold was "the concept guy." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey) Close-up of "Entomology's Most Wanted."
DAVIS--“Most Wanted” fugitives try to escape justice.
But the four “Most Wanted” fugitives targeted by the Entomology Graduate Students’ Association (EGSA) at the University of California, Davis, can neither run nor hide. Nor bite or sting.
Their mug shots—or “bug shots” are plastered all over a prize-winning t-shirt.
Entomology graduate students Nicholas Herold and Emily Bzydk won the EGSA’s annual t-shirt contest by featuring “bug shots” of “Entomology’s Most Wanted”: the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae), the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) bed bug, (Cimex lecturalius), and the housefly (Musca domestica). They’re among the most hated of insects.
EGSA began offering the shirt for sale at the Entomological Society of America’s 59th annual meeting, held recently in Reno, It's now available to the public.
Herold, “the concept guy for the T-shirt,” said his idea for "Entomology's Most Wanted" really began with the mosquito. “People have been requesting a mosquito shirt for years now, but I didn't want it to be just a mosquito. So I started thinking about other pests, and from there the ‘Most Wanted’ idea was born.”
“The trick was in choosing insects that are in the public eye,” Herold said. “I didn't want to mix agricultural and household pests, so that eliminated a bunch of options, and I wanted a mix of different orders. In retrospect, maybe I would have thought about a cockroach instead of the housefly, but I have something of a soft-spot for roaches. They've gotten enough bad publicity over the years. And everybody hates houseflies.”
Nicholas Herold was "the concept guy" behind the design.
Herold, who works in the Insect Systematics lab launched by professors Penny Gullan and Peter Cranston (his major professor) in Academic Surge, is a third-year graduate student. His research interests are phylogeny and biogeography in chironomids (non-biting midges).
Bzdyk, based in the Bohart Museum of Entomology in Academic Surge, said she and Nicholas “communicated back and forth as the design took shape to make sure I was getting the idea as he envisioned it.”
“ I used my experience with this type of design and scientific illustration to make something that I thought would capture the humor of the mug shots or ‘bug shots’ while still being informative and relatively accurate,” said Bzdyk, also known as a talented scientific artist, photographer and jewelry maker..
Bzdyk, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis, plans to complete her master’s degree this year. She is working on leafcutter bees (Litomegachile) and is drawing the bees for an identification key. To help fund her research, she sells her hand-crafted insect jewelry, including necklaces and earrings, at the Bohart Museum.
Herold and Bzdyk each received a t-shirt for winning the EGSA contest. Bzdyk also won the 2010 contest with her depiction of a “Wanna Bee (Hemaris diffinis, snowberry clearwing moth)."
The t-shirt sells for $15 and is available for purchase by emailing graduate student/malaria researcher Jenny Carlson at email@example.com.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology