A nymph-stage potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae, right of center) rests on a leaf of alfalfa (Medicago sativa). The discoloration and scarring seen on the leaves is called "hopperburn," and is the result of a toxin contained in a leafhoppers saliva.
Entomology’s Dilip Venugopal and William Lamp, as well as their colleague Mitchell Baker of Queens College CUNY, whose paper "Climate change and phenology: Empoasca fabae (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) migration and severity of impact," was published online today in the journal PLOS ONE. Their results suggest that climate warming could be exacerbating crop damage caused by the potato leafhopper, a tiny migratory insect pest that causes millions of dollars worth of damage to crops in the eastern United States every year. Using six decades worth of data, the study found that potato leafhoppers arrive an average of 10 days earlier than in the early 1950s, and their infestations are more severe in the warmest years. These effects correspond to an overall increase in years with warmer than average temperatures over the same time period. "The potato leafhopper is a significant pest in this country, spanning multiple crops across a large area. The scale of influence is huge," said Dilip Venugopal, a research associate in entomology at University of Maryland and co-lead author of the study. "Earlier arrival dates make it particularly important for farmers to get out early in the season and scout for leafhoppers," said William Lamp, an associate professor of entomology at University of Maryland and a co-author of the study.
Entomology's Barbara Thorne Working to Prevent Large Termite Nests from Spreading in Florida-Sun Sentinel
Research Professor at the University of Maryland's Department of Entomology, Barbara Thorne, works with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to prevent large termite nests from spreading in Florida.
Mike Raupp discusses the most common invader of households in the spring, odorous house ants!
While some people find the idea of ants in their kitchen repulsive, Raupp says they’re more of a nuisance than anything else. They don’t bite, sting or spread diseases.
“Ants are clean. Ants are not important distributors of microbes or disease-causing agents,” Raupp says.
Read more about this article at WTOP!
Not as many people are aware of the crucial role that honeybees play in maintaining agriculture. But Dennis vanEngelsdorp, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and director of its Honey Bee Lab, is doing what he can to highlight their relationship to crop production — and why their large, global die-off in the past few years is such a major concern.
University of Maryland entomologist Dennis vanEngelsdorp explains to Cantor, and us, how he and others in the field are trying to keep colonies — and ultimately our kitchens — stocked.
Dennis vanEngelsdorp in the New York Times: The Head-Scratching Case of the Vanishing Bees
Click on the link for video and full story. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/us/the-head-scratching-case-of-the-vanishing-bees.html?rref=us&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&pg
You can view the video on any of the links below.
On VOA Voice of America Homepage as Featured Video
Under Science and Technology on VOA homepage
Listen to an NPR story titled "Hunting for Alien Bug And Seed Invaders At Baltimore's Port" which includes an interview with Mike Raupp at this link: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/06/16/319499925/hunting-for-alien-bug-and-seed-invaders-at-baltimores-port
Brett Kent's work with kids & fossils highlighted in Scientfic American editor-in-chief's story on CMNS homepage:
Shark Hunters: Bretton Kent's Lab Helps "Kid Scientists Make Real Foossil Finds" -Scientific American and story in the Washington Post:
A breakthrough in the efforts to genetically modify honey bees was recently reported by Christina Schulte and colleagues from Heinrich Heine University in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Click link for full article.
David O’Brochta is the director of the Insect Genetic Technology Research Coordination Network (IGTRCN) and is a professor in the Department of Entomology and the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has an active research laboratory focused on insect genetics and molecular genetics with interests in the development of insect genetic technologies and their application to the study of the physiological genetics of mosquitoes, with particular interest in their disease-vector capabilities. Professor O’Brochta teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is the Head of the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research’s Insect Transformation Facility, and he is the editor of the Royal Entomological Society’s journal Insect Molecular Biology.
Congratulations to Dennis VanEngelsdorp for being quoted with good news in the New York Times!
Click link for full story. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/16/us/honeybees-report.html?ref=science&_r=0