Random buggy news...

* BibliOddesy has a neat collection of vintage illustrations from bee/apiculture literature with links to some other resources. (LINK)

* PESTIVAL was held from the 3rd-6th of September in the UK and featured all sorts of cool insect inspired art. Check out their website (LINK).

* A new book out called "The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics" by Clifford Pickover has a neat exerpt that talks about cicadas:

Cicada-Generated Prime Numbers

Cicadas are winged insects that evolved around 1.8 million years ago during the Pleistocene epoch, when glaciers advanced and retreated across North America. Cicadas of the genus Magicicada spend most of their lives below the ground, feeding on the juices of plant roots, and then emerge, mate, and die quickly. These creatures display a startling behavior: Their emergence is synchronized with periods of years that are usually the prime numbers 13 and 17. (A prime number is an integer such as 11, 13, and 17 that has only two integer divisors: 1 and itself.) During the spring of their 13th or 17th year, these periodical cicadas construct an exit tunnel. Sometimes more than 1.5 million individuals emerge in a single acre; this abundance of bodies may have survival value as they overwhelm predators such as birds that cannot possibly eat them all at once.

Some researchers have speculated that the evolution of prime-number life cycles occurred so that the creatures increased their chances of evading shorter-lived predators and parasites. For example, if these cicadas had 12-year life cycles, all predators with life cycles of 2, 3, 4, or 6 years might more easily find the insects. Mario Markus of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, Germany, and his coworkers discovered that these kinds of prime-number cycles arise naturally from evolutionary mathematical models of interactions between predator and prey. In order to experiment, they first assigned random life-cycle durations to their computer-simulated populations. After some time, a sequence of mutations always locked the synthetic cicadas into a stable prime-number cycle.

Of course, this research is still in its infancy and many questions remain. What is special about 13 and 17? What predators or parasites have actually existed to drive the cicadas to these periods? Also, a mystery remain as to why, of the 1,500 cicada species worldwide, only a small number of the genus Magicicada are known to be periodical.

Very cool vlog about a human bot fly.

"Stevie's Bug"

stevies bug 011

I recently got this photo in my email with a humors "Oh buggy one.... what is this in my garden?" and thought you'd all enjoy the photo. It appears to be a "Hummingbird Moth" in the family Sphingidae and they apparently love Stevie's Lilac Tree! (Photo taken in Northern Virginia)

Cool Bugs in the News

-A really cool article on the lifecycle of the ladybug (Harmonia axridis) with AMAZING photos. Link

- Did you know spiders come back to life after being "drowned"? Link

Jim Ottea receives College of Ag teaching award

Jim Ottea has received this year’s NACTA (National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture) Teaching Award from the LSU College of Agriculture. This award recognizes Ottea’s record of excellence in teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses.

Congratulations Jim from the EntClub!


WHEN: Saturday, 9 May 2009 starting at noon

WHERE: Dr. Hummel's house: 3945 Hundred Oaks

WHAT TO BRING: Bring a chair for yourself and a side dish if you so desire (sign up sheet on mail room door)

COST: Free to Entomology Club Members 
 $5 for everyone else (Buy tickets from Kat Parys)

IMPORTANT!! Please carpool if you can! 

Directions: Drive North on Acadian Thruway. Turn East (right) onto Hundred Oaks. House is on north side of Hundred oaks between Steele and Richland.


Recent Activities

Recent Ent. Club activities! (Sorry no photos yet!)

March 19: Stephanie Gil and Mike Ferro visited 2 preschool classes in the Human Ecology building here at LSU. The first class (3 year olds) learned about the life cycle of insects (egg, larva, pupa, adult). The second class (4 year olds) learned about insect defenses (stings, crypsis, mimicry, etc). 

March 30: Dawn Simms and Mike Ferro visited Dutchtown Primary School and presented three “lectures” to 6 classes about insect life cycles. The students all learned the words holometabolous and paurometabolous and loved it! 

April 22: Dr. Jim Ottea and Mike Ferro went to Glasgow Middle School’s career day and talked about Entomology and academia in general to 4 classes of bright, eager, young students. 

Many thanks to all those that helped out. 

LSU Entomology in the News

- Dr. Gene Reagan and Julien Beuzelin are featured in a video news clip about the Mexican Rice Borer. Video Here.

- Dr. Tom Mascari (Postdoc for Dr. Lane Foil) has his research presented at the American Mosquito Control Association meeting in New Orleans on feed through control of Sandflies featured on the AP wire and published on Yahoo News. Link Here.

Entomology in the news

* The BBC News had a great piece on camouflage in animals, featuring Professor Innes Cuthill from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol in England.

* The Bug Girl Blog posted fun for April fool's day!

* Discover Life put up a new interactive key for Xylocopa (Carpenter Bee) species.

Entomology in the News

Two cool news items in the past couple of days-

The New York Times did a really interesting article called "Extravagant Results of Nature’s Arms Race" by Nicholas Wade.

And the blog Morbid Anatomy wrote about a visit to the "Cabinet of Curiosities" Paris, which is filled with preserved insects.

UPDATE: Cabinet magazine did a large feature on the entire cabinet and it's history here.

Ent. Club at the Garden Show!

The Entomology Club presence in the Kids Zone at the Seventh Annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show (March 21 and 22) was a great success! We had about 400 adults and children come by and talk to us on Saturday, and another 200 visited the booth on Sunday. Many thanks to Bob Danka for bringing a display bee hive, and Linda Hooper-Bui for giving us a swarm of lady beetles. I am grateful to Stephanie Gil, Anna Meszaros, Helen Petre, and Dawn Simms for volunteering to work the booth on both days, and extra thanks to Stephanie Gil for help with display set up and take down.

Award Photos from SEB.

MS Talk Winner: Kyle Fontenot and Branch President Alvin Simmons

Linnean Games Team Photo: Second Place SEB. L-R: Matthew Gimmel, Katherine Parys, Jennifer Gordon, Grant Aucoin, Branch President Alvin Simmons, Julien Beuzelin.

Thank you to Pan Luo for the Photos.

Garden Shows!

Entomology club will be at a variety of events in the next few weeks doing education and talking to people about insects.

Anna Meszaros and Katherine Parys were at the Spring Garden Day this past weekend at the AgCenter's Southeastern Research Station in Hammond and handing out information about the Asian Citrus Psyllid and Citrus Greening Disease.

We're still looking for volunteers for other events (garden shows and school educational events) please let us know if you're interested in helping out!

Spring Garden Day

Anna talking about Citrus

"How to Take a Litter Sample" by LSAM

For those of you that missed it being shown in a variety of other places, the LSAM made this video while field collecting in Ecuador.


LSU at the ESA Branch Meeting: Awards

Congratulations to the following awardees at the Entomological Society of America, Southeastern Branch meeting in Montgomery, AL Mar 8-10, 2009:

Dr. Gene Reagan, Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching

Dr. Gregg Henderson, Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology

Drs. Dale Pollet and Dennis Ring were included in the 2009 Friends of Southern IPM Bright Idea Award. The award recognized members of the Southern Region School IPM working Group that is implementing IPM for schools in Louisiana. This is the first Team Award conferred by the society.

These awards represented 3 of the 8 top professional awards conferred by the society.

Kyle Fontenot (M.S. student under Dr. Roger Leonard) won First Place in the Master’s Student Paper Competition.

The department’s Linnaean Team (Julien Beuzelin, Ph.D. student under Dr. Gene Reagan, Matt Gimmel, Ph.D. student under Dr. Chris Carlton, Jennifer Gordon, M.S. student under Dr. Jim Ottea, and Katherine Parys, Ph.D. student under Dr. Seth Johnson; alternate Grant Aucoin, M.S. student under Dr. Wayne Kramer), coached by Dr. Natalie Hummel and Dr. Jeremy Allison, was the runner-up out of 9 teams representing Southeastern Branch universities. This event is a College Bowl-style competition testing each team’s knowledge of entomological concepts, history, biographies, current advances and trivia. Our team won the extra initial round (vs. Georgia) to establish an 8-team pool and went on to defeat Clemson and Arkansas before losing to North Carolina State. Our team distinguished itself by having all four contestants receiving points for the team. Each Branch sends two teams to the national ESA competition, which will be held in December this year in Indianapolis, IN. Our team brought back a $600 check to help toward travel to the national meeting.

Additional awards were received for photos entered in the Photo Salon:

Anna Meszaros received a 2nd place award in the Action category

Katherine Parys received a 3rd place award in the Traditional Macro category

Dr. Claudia Husseneder received both 1st and 2nd place awards in the Artistic category.



Welcome to the new website/blog from the Entomology Club at LSU! We're hoping to use this space for a great way to share news and events with both current members of the department, alumni, and friends!