Gearing Up for the 'Bug Questions' at the Linnaean Games in Hawaii
March 18, 2011
Practicing for the Linnaean Games: Coach Larry Godfrey (left) quizzes team members Matan Shelomi, Meredith Cenzer and Emily Symmes. Not pictured: teammate James Harwood. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
(Update: The UC Davis team won the Linnaean Games at the Pacific Branch meeting in Hawaii on March 28 and will now compete in November at the nationals. In the finals, between the University of Hawaii-Manoa and UC Davis, it came down to a sudden-death question. "I am a blood feeder, I have no hair but have a comb. What am I?" Emily Symmes correctly answered "A flea." Both teams will compete at the nationals.)
See online videos from the competition in Hawaii:
UC Davis vs. University of Idaho
UC Davis vs. University of Hawaii-Manoa
DAVIS--A UC Davis team from the Department of Entomology is heading to Hawaii to participate in the Linnaean Games, a college-bowl type competition that's one of the highlights of the annual meeting of the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America (PBESA).
The PBESA meeting takes place March 27-30 in Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Team members, coached by Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty, are Matan Shelomi, studying for his doctorate with major professor Lynn Kimsey; Meredith Cenzer, studying for her doctorate with major professor Louie Yang; Emily Symmes, studying for her doctorate with major professor Frank Zalom; and James Harwood, studying for his doctorate with major professor James R. Carey.
In the Linnaean Games, university teams--primarily comprised of graduate students--answer randomly selected questions about insects, entomologists, and entomological facts. It's a fun-filled competition with friendly rivalries.
The Pacific Branch will send the top two teams to compete at the national competition, to be held during the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Nov. 13-16 in Reno.
Last year the Pacific Branch sent Washington State University and UC Davis to the nationals, which took place last December in San Diego. In the opening round, UC Davis narrrowly lost to Ohio State University, which then advanced to the finals and then went on to win the championship.
During the close competition, the Davis team tied Ohio several times. Finally, with the score knotted at 90-90, the Ohio team edged UC Davis. Ohio went on to defeat Pennsylvania State University, Georgia and finally, Nebraska to take home the championship.
Some of the questions asked during the 2010 Linnaean Games in San Diego:
What’s the loudest insect in the world?
African cicada (Brevisana brevis); it has been measured at 106 decibels, equivalent to a gas mower at 3 feet away.
What is the egg case of a cockroach called?
Kissing bugs, in the family Reduviidae, are vectors of what disease?
About how long have insects been on earth?
Some 400-380 million years ago.
Give three official common names for Helicoverpa zea?
Corn earworm, tomato fruitworm, and cotton bollworm
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology