Prof Emeritus Mike Raupp tells the The Weather Channel yes, ants are indeed abundant, reaching every continent except for Antarctica. "They outweigh birds and all wild mammals which is is simply a huge huge amount of mass" Raupp says. & not only are the sheer # and distribution of ants amazing but so is the extraordinary contributions ants make to our planet. Learn more here:
Sorry DMV residents, mosquitoes are predicted to follow us well into the fall season. University of Maryland Prof Emeritus Mike Raupp shares why with the Washington Post.
Quote: Because they’re coldblooded, insect development is very closely tied to ambient temperature, so the warmer it is, the faster they develop,” Raupp said. “Our mosquitoes can have multiple generations every year. So as we move into a warming world — because it gets warm earlier, it stays warm later and it’s generally hotter — we simply have more generations of these mosquitoes every single year.
link to article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/09/25/mosquito-season-washington/
With a bit of help from UMD's Teaching and Learning Innovation Grant, Drs Lamp and Avanesyan show Freshwater Biology students how to use innovative tech to extract DNA from insects and ID species. Read more at MD Today article "From Bugs to Bronze Age, Nearly 300 Courses Get Creative Boost"
Earlier this month UMD Entomology faculty and students attended EntoQuest, a premiere summer event put on by the ESA’s Eastern Branch. Located in the beautiful mountains outside Front Royal, Virginia the meeting was designed to instill a sense of community, bringing together students, professors and professionals from all over. Events throughout the weekend provided chances to network, learn, explore, and collect with fellow insect enthusiasts. There were opportunities to gain knowledge about aquatic macroinvertebrates, forensic entomology, collection techniques and the pestering lantern fly. Experts shared their knowledge through laid back conversations and casual poster viewing. Amanda Rae Brucchieri, 1st yr grad student in Lamp lab said, “The first ever Eastern Branch Summer EntoQuest was a great way for attendees to enjoy the company and knowledge of others, wrapping up a summer full of data collection and running around perfectly.” See photo of Amanda and other UMD attendees below. & if you are interested in future Eastern Branch events, check out plans for the next meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.
Hot humid weather with scattered storms make conditions ideal for mosquitoes in the DMV. The Bug Guy, Prof Emeritus Mike Raupp, gives NBC4 tips on how individuals and their communities can fight the bite:
- eliminate breeding sites
- apply personal protection
- and use Gravid Aedes Trap
As weather warms lone star ticks are expanding their territory North. Mike Raupp explains in the New York Times more about the tick, including why its bite can lead to a red meat allergy called alpha-gal syndrome. & The Washington Post interviews alum William Gimpel about his experience after developing the syndrome.
Quote from Raupp in NYT: “What we’re now seeing is a wide-open door for ticks to continue expanding their range further northward”
Quote from Gimpel in Post: "I developed hives, fainted, my blood pressure dropped, and I told my wife on the way to the ER that I could not see. That has been my most serious reaction."
Read NY Times article here>>
Read Washington Post article here>>
This spring Dr. Hamby kicked off a new course BSCI487, “IPM: science-based decision making for sustainable pest management.” The course explores sustainable pest management in agroecosystems using the integrated pest management (IPM) paradigm. The class of 11 students met each Tuesday and Thursday for lecture, discussion, lab and the occasional field trip.
Sankara Ganesh, an undergraduate Biological Sciences major specializing in Ecology and Evolution with a minor in Entomology and Sustainability, describes the course as the perfect overlap between his interests in biology and sustainability. The class taught him about the various consequences of pesticide overuse including risks to human health, environmental contamination, non-target effects on beneficial arthropods, and the development of pesticide resistance. Now that Sankara has taken the course he feels even more enthused about IPM, saying “The key to managing pests while minimizing consequences lies within IPM.”
Sankara highly recommends the course, saying “It's the kind of course that students from any major can enjoy and succeed in as long as they make an effort to learn and participate. Also, Dr. Hamby is a very patient and understanding professor who treats all of her students with respect and kindness.” So, if you are interested in learning more about pest management, sustainable food production and the health of our planet, consider registering for BSCI487 when it is offered next. The course is acceptable toward Biological Specialization Areas: ECEV and GENB (Ecology, Behavior & Organismal category) and the Entomology minor.
Tune into Bug Talk for honest reflections from scientist Dr. Megan Fritz on starting a family while pursuing a #STEM career. This semester Megan connected with her alma mater Michigan State University, Department of Entomology. While there she chatted with Bug Talk's Zsofia about her path to entomology, her choice to start a family in graduate school, raising children while completing her Ph.D. and the supportive environment that MSU cultivated for female students with children.
Check out Bug Talk's podcast to listen to full Fritz episode: https://www.buzzsprout.com/911479/10162569
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Dr. Jeff Shultz, quoted in The New York Times commenting on a recent publication out in Molecular Biology and Evolution that suggest rather than occupying their own individual lineage, horseshoe crabs are in the same family as arachnids.
Quote: “Personally, I think it is an interesting finding,” said Jeffrey Shultz, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland who studies arachnid evolution, “but experience shows that results can change when the same data are analyzed by different workers, when new data are added to the mix or when new insights into genomic evolution come to light.”
Link to article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/science/horseshoe-crabs-arachnids.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=Science
How can we keep native bee species alive?
Dr. Nathalie Steinhauer, UMD postdoc and Bee Informed Partnership science coordinator says to Capital News Service MD:
Support companies working to reduce the environmental impacts affecting bee populations.
& how in the world did bees survive for weeks under volcano ash following the Canary Islands eruption? Nathalie tells the New York Times:
That behavior is typical of honeybees, who use propolis, which they produce from substances they collect from plants and buds, to plug tiny gaps in the hive to protect it from rainwater and drafts, said Nathalie Steinhauer, a researcher in the department of entomology at the University of Maryland
Still, the fact that the bees on the island managed to spend weeks inside the hive insulating themselves from such oppressive conditions was surprising — and even inspirational, Dr. Steinhauer said.
“It is a very empowering story,” she said. “It tells a lot about the resilience of honeybees.
In 2020, Kriztina Christmon, PhD student vanEngelsdorp Lab, won AGNR's AgEnterprise Challenge. Now Kriztina serves as CEO of Repurpose Farm Plastic LLC, a company developing sustainable plastic recycling practices in the field of agriculture. The Office of International Affairs at UMD - Global Maryland features Kriztina's interests in agro-plastic recycling, her experience as a new CEO and the aims of the new business.
We're not the only ones enjoying the warm weather this Fall, mosquitoes are too! Over the past several months Professor Emeritus Mike Raupp and PhD student Arielle Arsenault-Benoit have been fielding questions on when mosquito season is expected to end and whether or not climate change is a factor in mosquitos lingering longer than years past.
Raupp in the Diamondback:
Entomology professor Michael Raupp explained that temperature increases the speed in which insects develop, grow, molt and capture their prey. In a warming world, winter is shorter, so mosquitoes become active earlier in the year and remain active later in the year.
Arsenault-Benoit in the Washingtonian:
This matters because mosquitoes “take a lot of their cues from the environment,” says Arielle Arsenault-Benoit, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, who has been collecting and conducting research on mosquitoes for three years. “The temperatures are not very cold for the [mosquito] adults to realize it’s getting to be winter,” Arsenault-Benoit says
Raupp in The Washington Post:
Raupp mentioned that the mosquito species Culex pipiens, common house mosquitoes that are well-known carriers of West Nile virus, can remain active all year. “Even on warm days in late autumn or winter in D.C., there could be blood,” Raupp said. “These devils live and breed year round in basements, parking garages, and tunnels under cities. They can bubble out and feed when it is warm enough.”
Homeowners, landscapers, and gardeners DYK protecting habitat for overwintering insects can be as simple as leaving leaves lie? Preliminary data from a study conducted by Max Ferlauto, PhD student in the Burghardt lab, shows the number of emerging moths and butterflies are reduced by about 67 percent in areas where leaves are removed. For more on Ferlauto’s project and steps you can take to support overwintering insects check out The Diamondback article.
Congrats on the coverage Max!
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Professor Bill Lamp & colleagues part of multi-state team studying diverse perennial forage systems. Lamp says, “We want to test that growing diverse species of crops, and using perennial crops, will add more beneficial insects to the farm. We are especially interested in ‘conservation biological control,’ in which populations of natural enemies of pests are enhanced by diverse, perennial crops.” Full AGNR press release: https://agnr.umd.edu/news/entomology-and-extension-faculty-join-national-team-study-and-support-diverse-perennial-forage?fbclid=IwAR26bwOizAlo1wLYMflnzqnq3tMCMMY-V75XdUDOV3GwLQNJBSNy83FnZd4
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Join Dr. Sara Via, Professor & Climate Extension Specialist for the 2021 Climate and Sustainability Webinar Series beginning at 4 p.m. on June 23. Learn about the impacts of climate change and what you can do to help every other Wednesday in this summer-long series ending Sept. 15. Learn more and register for one or all of the webinars at https://climatecorner.org/webinars/
The Department of Entomology is a participant of the Green Office Program and is working towards Bronze certification. The GO Representative is Amy Yaich.
Check out our Spring 2021 Department of Entomology Newsletter to see what we've been up to! Content includes news on publications, awards, defenses, media mentions and much more.
Is there something you'd like to see in the Summer 20201 edition? Let us know by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
"Maryland is at the epicenter of the cicada emergence, so there will be spectacular numbers of cicadas emerging very heavily, starting perhaps in early May," Michael Raupp, Prof Emeritus at UMD, told WJLA. "But the big ‘cicada-palooza’ is going to happen the last two weeks of May and into early June. So in some areas, there will be 1.5 million cicadas per acre emerging from the ground."
WJLA article: 'Cicada-palooza' is coming. Maryland will be at the epicenter