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2011 News

Department of Entomology > 2011 News
 

 2011 Entomology News

 
If You Tell the Bees Will They Listen?
Tom Turpin
from Purdue Extension "On Six Legs"
December 2011

Beehive photo by Marlin Rice
Date Added: 12/29/2011
Bee hive covered with bees 

For thousands of years humans have taken advantage of what has been called the “food of the gods.” We’re talking about honey. Honey is a sugar-laden substance produced by a few species of bees as their food. And somewhere in our history ancient humans got a taste of honey, and we have been eating it ever since.

Of course, bees don’t willingly share their food stores with humans – or other animals for that matter. So the first honey eaters had to resort to stealing from the bees. And such pilferage wasn’t a pleasant thing because, as Shakespeare wrote, bees are “armed in their stings.”

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Melissa Shepson Awarded 2011 OSA
Beth York
Entomology Department
Date Added: 12/20/2011
Steve Yaninenk, Department Head, presenting gift to Melissa Shepson, Outreach Coordinator and 2011 OSA recipient 

Holiday lights. Festive decorations. Delicious finger food. Hot and cold drinks. Unexpected gifts. And PIE!

What better way to celebrate and honor the 2011 recipient of the Outstanding Service Award – Melissa Shepson. The December 15th reception was held in her honor in Whistler Hall. Three individuals – Cliff Sadof, Matt Ginzel and Jennifer Tsuruda – offered testimonials to Melissa’s helpfulness, organizational skills and overall service to the department. Department Head Steve Yaninek presented her with a plaque upon which a clock is mounted, along with an attached plate acknowledging the award. There is also a monetary gift which accompanies the honor.

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'Twas the Night Before Hatch (or Account of a Visit from Drunella grandis)
Luke Jacobus [BS 00, PhD 06] - written 12/12/2000
Based on a poem by Clement Clarke Moore
Date Added: 12/15/2011
Trout underwater 

'Twas the night before Hatch, when all through the flow - Not a creature was stirring, not even a subimago; The sulphurs were tied by the anglers with care, In hopes that hungry trout soon would be there;

The salmonids were nestled all snug in their beds, While search-images of flies hadn't yet formed in their heads; And caddis in their cases, and notonectids on their back, Were just coming out for a late evening's snack.

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'Ugly is as Ugly Does' Applies to Insects
Tom Turpin, Professor of Entomology
From the December 2011 edition of "Science on Six Legs"
Date Added: 12/14/2011
Dr. F. Thomas Turpin 

The word “ugly” is a negative term that can be used to describe appearance, behavior or even morals. Hans Christian Andersen used the word in his tale “The Ugly Duckling.” It is a story about inherent potential. In this case, the ugly duckling ultimately becomes a beautiful swan.

To many people, the term is an apt expression of their feelings regarding the appearance of insects. I haven’t done a formal survey on the subject, but in my experience people often express their feelings about insects using the words “ugly” and “gross” – especially if the encounter is up close and personal.

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Richard Shukle helps find reinforcements against Hessian fly
Brian Wallheimer, as published in the
December 12, 2011 by the Purdue
University News Service
Date Added: 12/13/2011
Dr. Richard Shukle 

Wheat's genetic resistance to Hessian flies has been failing, but a group of Purdue University and U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists believe that other plants may soon be able to come to the rescue.

The Purdue and USDA research team developed a method to test toxins from other plants on Hessian fly larvae. The test simulates the effect of a transgenic plant without the lengthy and costly procedures necessary to actually create those plants.

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2011 ESA Student Competition Results
From eNews: News for Members of the Entomological Society of America
Date Added: 12/2/2011
2011 ESA Student Competition Winners 

At Entomology 2011, students competed in two competitions -- the poster competition, and the 10-minute paper competition. Winners each year receive a free one-year membership in ESA, a $70 cash prize, and a certificate.

Winners were as follows:

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Interview with Robert Anderson (MS '66, PhD '68) of Cricket Science
Sayde Ridling, Rutgers University as posted on YouTube
Date Added: 12/1/2011
Robert Anderson 

In this video, Sayde Ridling, a student from Rutgers University, interviews Robert Anderson of Cricket Science in the Exhibit Hall at Entomology 2011 in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Anderson has attended ESA meetings for over 40 years.

Click here for video.

You Might Be an Entomologist if . . .
Tom Turpin, "On Six Legs," 11/24/2011
Date Added: 11/28/2011
Professor Tom Turpin 

Stand up comic and TV personality Jeff Foxworthy made a name for himself with a series of "you might be a redneck" one-liners. You know, things like you might be a redneck if you think a stock tip is advice on worming your hogs.

Like many previous good ideas, nearly everyone and his brother have adapted this one for other uses. Such a joke can be used to describe localities: You might be from a small town if you know all your neighbors and their dogs by name. Or you might be from New England if your Dairy Queen is closed from September through May.

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59th ESA brings awards for many
Steve Yaninek
Entomology Department Head
Date Added: 11/18/2011
Nicole R. Vanderlaan-Hannon

The Entomological Society of America just wrapped up its 59th annual meeting in Reno, Nevada this past Wednesday. The meeting was hosted by President Ernest “Del” Delfosse with over 2,500 participants from all 50 states and 37 countries. Purdue was well represented with a dozen faculty and staff and as many graduate students. Purdue gave talks and posters throughout the meeting beginning with Tom Turpin at 8 am on Sunday morning through the last session on Wednesday afternoon with Christian Krupke.

Our students did an outstanding job presenting their research and representing the department. We received four student awards including two for talks and two for posters. Nikki VanDerLaan-Hannon won First Place for her talk on "Conophthorin enhances the efficacy of ethanol-baited lures for trapping the granulate ambrosia beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae)."

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James "Jim" Dill (PhD '79) serving as state representative in Maine
From "Maine House Democrats"
Democratic Members of the Maine House of Representatives
Date Added: 11/17/2011
Representative James Dill, D-ME 

Representative Jim Dill is serving in his first term in the Maine House of Representatives. Dill has been appointed to serve as a member on the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Rep. Dill’s professional career has focused on education and pest management. In addition to being a Professor at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and in Biological Sciences, he currently serves as Chair of the RSU #34 School Board, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the United Technologies Center in Bangor.

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Dr. Donald Paschke passed away
Notified 11/16/11
Date Added: 11/17/2011
Dr. Donald Paschke 

John Donald (Don) Paschke, an emeritus professor of entomology at Purdue University, passed away October 13, 2011 at his home in Bloomington, Indiana. Don was 85 years old. He was trained in entomology at the University of California at Berkeley and worked for the Illinois Natural History Survey when he was hired by John Osmun as an insect pathologist to work on biological control. He was an early pioneer in the development of insect viruses for applied insect control, and had a keen interest in international development. He was major professor for 11 graduate students, including Dr. Max Summers who later was elected as a fellow in the National Academy of Sciences. Don served on the faculty in Entomology at Purdue from 1960 to 1990.

For more information click here

EGO and Thomas Say team up for Headless Horseman event
John Diller
October 22, 2011
Date Added: 11/3/2011
Wow! Look at those gorgeous butterflies. 

With the Halloween season in full swing the Entomology Graduate Organization (EGO) and Thomas Say Entomological Society joined forces to partake in the festivities at Conner Prairie’s Headless Horseman event in Fishers, IN. The group brought with them an interactive booth that allowed visitors to hold a cockroach, pet a millipede, and even eat a live mealworm if they dared! For those slightly less adventurous, several collection boxes of creepy-crawlies were available to look at and people were encouraged to ask questions about any insects they saw.

Grzegorz Buczkowski investigates pesky ants found in Hawaii
Writer: Brian Wallheimer, 765-496-2050, bwallhei@purdue.edu
Source: Grzegorz Buczkowski, 765-494-6314, gbuczkow@purdue.edu
 Published in Purdue University News Service 11/1/11
Date Added: 11/2/2011
Investigating ants in Hawaii 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A common pest in the mainland United States known for its tropical smell now has a tropical habitat to go along with it.

Odorous house ants - so called because they tend to invade houses and smell like coconut when smashed - have found their way to Hawaii. And, according to Purdue University entomologist Grzegorz Buczkowski, it doesn't seem as though they have plans to end their vacations.

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Tom Turpin demands: Friends of spiders please stand up
Tom Turpin, Professor of Entomology
Purdue University
Date Added: 10/31/2011
Black-and-yellow garden spider 

Most people don't harbor fond feelings for the creatures known as spiders. In fact, as a group, spiders are probably the least-liked of all arthropods. And that is saying something. None of the other common arthropods - insects, ticks, mites, scorpions, lobsters, crayfish and pillbugs - rank very high on the human likeability scale either.

When it comes to fondness for other animals we humans are partial to creatures that are more like us. You know, warm-blooded and hairy. We love these kinds of animals and even keep some, such as dogs, cats, and the occasional rat, as pets. We spend all kinds of money on our mammal pets, providing fancy food, veterinary care, special toys and even grooming.

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Tom Turpin's troupe connects
As published in Purdue Today
October 27, 2011
Date Added: 10/27/2011
Tom Turpin with friend at Science Theater 

What do Matilda Mosquito, Bartholomew "Barfy" Bee and Franz Firefly have in common? Well, they too survived the formative high school years, but their experience was unlike any other because they graduated from Bugville High.

The story of the six-legged teens is featured in "The Insecta Class Yearbook," a play performed by Purdue's Science Theater Outreach Program (STOP). In its inaugural year as a student organization, STOP has started to accept requests to take the play far from the borders of West Lafayette.

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Nick Seiter (BS '07, MS '09) works to keep "Kudzu bug" away from soybeans
Allen G. Breed, AP National Writer
From The Associated Press, Copyright 2011
Date Added: 10/18/2011
Nicholas Seiter 

BLACKVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Kudzu — the "plant that ate the South" — has finally met a pest that's just as voracious. Trouble is, the so-called "kudzu bug" is also fond of another East Asian transplant that we happen to like, and that is big money for American farmers.

Soybeans.

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Madeline Spigler attends IOBC biodiversity workshops in Colombia
Madeline Spigler
Date Added: 10/18/2011
Big bug from Colombia 

The International Organization of Biological Control has weeklong workshops each year, focusing on theory and techniques relevant to the organization’s ideals. This year, the focus was on biodiversity in agroecosystems and the effects of this on biological control.

A natural location for a course focusing on biodiversity would be in the tropics. Thus, the course was centered in Cali, Colombia at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Course leaders included USDA researchers and professors from several major Colombian universities. Participants represented 4 different countries, many levels of experience, and a variety of backgrounds. Because of this, each participant brought unique perspectives to the meeting.

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Rob Wiedenmann (PhD ‘90) pays tribute to his advisor and mentor, the late Bob O’Neil
Robert N. Wiedenmann
As published in Biological Control 59 (2011) 3-5
Date Added: 10/17/2011
Preadtory Stink Bug 

Predatory Heteroptera are nearly ubiquitous, being found in most natural and managed habitats. Even as predators, heteropteran taxa differ in the degree to which they are predaceous (Cobben, 1979; Sweet, 1979; Cohen, 1990, 1996). A number of taxa are nearly totally predaceous (it is unclear if any are known to be totally predaceous), such as the reduviids and nabids. Some of those taxa are also known as intraguild predators (Rosenheim, 2005), feeding on other predator taxa, including other heteropterans.

Another, large fraction of the predatory Heteroptera are those that are considered facultative predators (Wheeler, 1976). These predators are sometimes termed ‘‘omnivorous,’’ (Eubanks and Denno, 1999; Coll and Guershon, 2002), which may be oversimplifying the relationships of the predators have with their prey and the rest of the taxa – animal, plant and fungi at different trophic levels – in the habitats (Lundgren, 2009). The continuum ranges from predators that are occasionally herbivorous to herbivores that occasionally are predaceous (Naranjo and Gibson, 1996; Coll, 1998). The recognition of their ability to feed on a number of kinds of prey (and non-prey foods) has earned those taxa the epithet ‘‘generalist,’’ rather than omnivore. More recently, Heteroptera with a diet that includes both plant and insect meals have been termed facultatively zoophytophagous (Alomar and Wiedenmann, 1996).

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Julie Longland (BS '01) works with Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Nicaragua
Julie Longland
Date Added: 10/13/2011
Julie Longland 

After working several years in the agricultural chemicals industry, Julie Miranda Longland (B.S. '01) gained enough experience to be accepted as a volunteer with USAID's (U.S. Agency for International Development) Farmer-to-Farmer Program this year.

With Partners of the Americas, the organization that administers the Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Latin America, Julie worked with horticulture and potato growers in the highlands of Nicaragua in September. As a Pest and Disease Control Specialist, much of the assignment touched on her roots in the Crop Protection program at Purdue. Meetings with potato cooperatives and a community organization of vegetable growers harkened back to classes with Alan York as she promoted integrated pest management.

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Casey D. Butler (BS '03; MS '06) Double Award Winner
From Entomological Society of America Newsletter
October 12, 2011 Issue
Date Added: 10/12/2011
Casey D. Butler 

ESA is pleased to announce the winners of its 2011 awards. Professional awards will be presented at Entomology 2011, ESA’s 59th Annual Meeting, in Reno, Nevada during Monday’s Plenary Session on December 14, 5:00-6:30 p.m. ESA student awards will be presented on Tuesday, November 15, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Awards—These six awards are given to one graduate student from each ESA Branch to promote interest in entomology and to stimulate interest in attending the ESA Annual Meeting. Dr. Casey D. Butler received the award for the Pacific Branch.

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"Insectaganza" 2011
WLFI.com
Date Added: 10/12/2011
Dissecting Insects 

About 700 fifth-graders from around Tippecanoe County 'bugged out' of school today to attend the 15th annual Insectaganza at Purdue. The university's entomology program presented dissecting classes, forensic entomology, insect bingo, and a theater program.

Fifth-grader Kloe Timmons said she learned a lot about one of her favorite insects, the grasshopper.

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David Fincannon (BS 1982 Entomology) interviews Gary Bennett and others with ties to New Orleans and Louisiana
From PCT E-newsletter
for Monday, October 3, 2011
Date Added: 10/4/2011
Gary Bennett 

A new video from David Fincannon, A-All Pest Termite Exterminators, highlights New Orleans, host city of PestWorld 2011. The video includes an interview with Zach Lehman, entomologist at the Insectarium, as well as interviews with several other pest management professionals with ties to New Orleans and Louisiana.

Stuart Takes on International Role
From Purdue Agriculture in Focus
September 2011 Issue
"News Around Purdue Agriculture"
Date Added: 9/15/2011
Jeff Stuart 

Dr. Jeff Stuart, Entomology, has taken on a new role in International Programs in Agriculture (IPIA), where he is supporting Purdue Agriculture’s education, research and extension efforts in Latin America.

Earlier this month, he traveled with Dean Jay Akridge to the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia, for a strategic workshop with the highest levels of the Colombian government and other key players to focus on innovation strategies for Colombia.

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Christian Krupke and other Scientists Warn of Refuge Risks
As quoted from IPMnet NEWS, Issue  #189, September 2011
Excerpted from the Journal of Economic Entomology, 104(2), 343-352, April 2011.
Date Added: 9/8/2011
Christian Krupke 

An experienced group of 13 U.S. and Canadian entomologists has issued an unmistakenly stern warning that a recently approved procedure for simultaneously planting mixtures of genetically modified (GM) and conventional crop seeds could trigger several unforeseen and less than desirable outcomes. The method is a newer twist on providing an in-field refuge for susceptible insects in transgenic insecticidal crop plantings.

The group, headed by D.W. Onstad on the faculty of the Univ. of Illinois, concluded that a process to establish refuges in GM crops using seed mixtures, dubbed by some 'refuge-in-a-bag,' will result in making "pest monitoring more difficult." Seed mixtures also may, in the group's view, "make IRM (insect-resistance management) riskier because of larval behavior and greater adoption of insecticidal corn."

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Doug Richmond works with researchers to make turfgrass safer
Writer: Brian Wallheimer, 765-496-2050, bwallhei@purdue.edu 

Agriculture News Page

 

Date Added: 9/7/2011
Douglas Richmond 

September 6, 2011 - WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The right combination of compounds produced by a beneficial fungus could lead to grasses that require fewer pesticides and are safer for wildlife and grazing animals, according to Purdue University scientists.

Neotyphodium is a fungus called an endophyte. It lives symbiotically, feeding off many species of grasses while providing the grass with protection from insects such as black cutworm. But Neotyphodium also can be toxic to animals based on the types of alkaloids it produces. It was once a serious concern for pasture managers.

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Tim Gibb: Lyme disease cases in Indiana experience an uptick of 82 percent
Taya Flores
Journal and Courier
Date Added: 9/1/2011
Photo: By John Terhune/Journal & Courier 

The size of a sesame seed as an adult, the tiny black-legged tick can pose a major health threat. It can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease to humans.

If left untreated, the disease can cause painful joint swelling or more rarely a neurological disorder such as meningitis or Bell's palsy, loss of muscle tone on one or more sides of the face.

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Jeff Stuart elected vice President-Elect of the Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology Section of the Entomological Society of America.
Entomological Society of America - ESA's 2012 Election Results
Date Added: 9/1/2011
Jeff Stuart 

Lanham, MD; September 1, 2011 – The votes from the 2012 ESA Officers Election have been counted and the new officers have been selected for ESA national offices and for ESA Sections. In addition, the ESA membership has selected four new Honorary Members, and has approved of three amendments to the ESA Bylaws.

The following incoming officers will begin their terms at the ESA Final Business Meeting in Reno, Nevada, Wednesday, November 16, 2011:

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Cowpea storage technology development by Purdue entomologist Larry Murdock reaps huge returns
SciDev.net
Date Added: 8/23/2011
Larry Murdock 

Tricks that prevent the rotting of cowpeas, an African staple, after they have been harvested, will have yielded US$295 million of benefits in west and central Africa by 2020, according to new research.

Solar powered heaters to kill pests, simple, airtight containers and other storage technologies developed between 1982 and 2007 through the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP), are having a dramatic impact on production of the bean (Vigna unguiculata), an important source of protein in semi-arid regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, the study has shown.

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Science on Six Legs Visits the Indiana State Fair!
Melissa Shepson
Date Added: 8/17/2011
Tom Turpin (Purdue University Department of Entomology)

Friday, August 12 was Purdue Day at the Indiana State Fair and it was a beautiful day for the cricket-spitting along State Fair Boulevard and for the roach races in the Our Land Pavilion. There was huge turnout of Boilermakers from across campus for the festivities. I was joined by volunteers Larry Bledsoe, Mahsa Fardisi, John Obermeyer, Arwin Provonsha, and Tom Turpin. Larry and Mahsa worked together to measure distances, I organized registration, John did double duty as photographer and announcer and Tom “hawked” our event (no pun intended!) to visitors passing by. We had a wide variety of spitters, aged 4-72, stop by to participate in the event. The morning and afternoon roach races, emceed by Arwin, were also very well attended.

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Purdue Entomology Alum at UC Riverside to Study Diseases Transmitted by Ticks
UCR Newsroom
Date Added: 8/5/2011
Joao Pedra

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Summer for most people means time spent outdoors, which could also mean increased exposure to bugs and, possibly, arthropod-borne diseases, such as “rickettsial diseases” – infectious diseases spread by bacteria, which, generally, are transmitted by lice, fleas, ticks and mites.

Now a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will enable an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside to study how our immune system responds to rickettsial infection.

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"Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite” featured at State Fair
Lisa Schluttenhofer
Purdue Today
Date Added: 8/4/2011

This is one of three panels of an exhibit on how to stop bed bugs from spreading and eliminate them. The exhibit is one of several from Purdue University that will be in on display in the Pioneer Hi-Bred Our Land Pavilion during the Indiana State Fair. (Purdue Agricultural Communication illustration)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Educational displays about bed bugs, grain bin safety and how veterinary medicine can advance human health will be featured among Purdue University exhibits at the Indiana State Fair Aug. 5-21

They are among other activities, including analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's August crop production report, Purdue Day and recognition of outstanding women in agriculture, which will involve Purdue Agriculture during the run of the fair

 

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Video: Stink Bug Observations from Dr. Eric Smith (MS '70)
PCT
Date Added: 8/2/2011
Eric Smith

Dr. Eric Smith, director of technical services with Dodson Pest Control, Lynchburg, Va., reviews this invasive species that is becoming problematic, particularly in mid-Atlantic states.

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Video: David Fincannon (BS '82) on Proposed Fee Increases in Texas
PCT
Date Added: 8/2/2011
David Fincannon

A video from Fincannon, A-All Pest Termite Exterminators, in which Fincannon discusses fee increases proposed by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

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Holland Lab participates in the Indiana Academy of Science Bioblitz
Jeff Holland
Date Added: 7/22/2011
Alternate text to describe the picture goes here

Six people from the Holland lab at Purdue Entomology took part in a Bioblitz in Michigan City, Indiana, hosted by the Indiana Academy of Science and Weaver-Boos Consulting.

Jeff Holland, Insu Koh, John Shukle, Alex Bic, Tommy Mager, and Kyle and Molly Schnepp collected insects at various parks and natural areas in the city for 24 hours (with a short break 6-10 AM) on the July 15-16 weekend. Sweep nets, pitfall traps, and 2.4 kW of lights were used to rapidly sample as many beetle species as possible in the 24 hour period. Other teams worked on surveying other taxa of animals, plants, and fungi.

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Rick Foster: Watch for hornworms, other garden pests
Lisa Schluttenhofer
Purdue Today
Date Added: 7/21/2011
Hornworms, a common garden pest, can defoliate tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and other vegetables. (Purdue Agriculture photo/Rick Foster) 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Now that the weather is getting warmer, gardeners should be on the lookout for hornworms and other garden pests, says a Purdue Extension insect specialist.

Tomato and tobacco hornworms are the caterpillars of two large moths that fly in June. Easily identified by their protruding "horn," hornworms grow to four inches long and can destroy foliage and eat on the green fruit, Rick Foster said.

 

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Butterfly count shows fewer than in past years
Nick Hedrick
Journal and Courier
Date Added: 7/18/2011
Lisa Pantea, from left, Gladys Andino and Deb Hester look at a Pearl Crescent they caught Saturday during the annual butterfly count at Prophetstown State Park in Battle Ground. (By Brent Drinkut/Journal & Courier) 


Angela Myracle knew the butterfly she found at Prophetstown State Park on Saturday was either a Common Sootywing or a Horace's Duskywing.

Using a photo she took with her camera, Myracle and Purdue graduate student Carmen Baugh consulted an illustrated guidebook to find the answer. It was a Common Sootywing, which is dark with white spots.

"That was the only one I was able to get a picture of," said Myracle, a grad student at the University of Illinois and Purdue alumna.

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Termites' digestive system could act as biofuel refinery
By Brian Wallheimer
Purdue University News Service
Date Added: 7/7/2011
scharf-termites

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - One of the peskiest household pests, while disastrous to homes, could prove to be a boon for cars, according to a Purdue University study.

Mike Scharf, the O. Wayne Rollins/Orkin Chair in Molecular Physiology and Urban Entomology, said his laboratory has discovered a cocktail of enzymes from the guts of termites that may be better at getting around the barriers that inhibit fuel production from woody biomass. The Scharf Laboratory found that enzymes in termite guts are instrumental in the insects' ability to break down the wood they eat.

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Robert Gallun Obituary: Alumnus/Adjunct Professor
Journal & Courier
Date Added: 6/30/2011
Bob Gallun

Robert L. Gallun, 87, of Westminster Village in West Lafayette, died at 6:59 p.m. Friday, June 24, 2011, at St. Elizabeth Central hospital.

He was born Feb. 21, 1924, in Milwaukee, Wis., the son of the late George and Viola Paul Gallun. He was a World War II Army veteran, serving in the 104th Infantry Division "The Timberwolves," and served as the company bugler..

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Purdue's African Crop Project Grows Again
Inside INdiana Business
Date Added: 6/30/2011
Larry Murdock

A Purdue University professor, whose research has already helped provide food for 3.4 million households in sub-Saharan Africa, is now enhancing his efforts, hoping to make even greater contributions to battle hunger. Larry Murdock, a professor of entomology at Purdue's College of Agriculture, has developed a new method of storing cowpeas—a staple in sub-Saharan Africa—that has greatly reduced the region's crippling loss of the crop due to poor storage techniques. Having proven the technology with cowpea storage, Murdock is focusing his efforts on other crops that could bring additional value to farmers and help feed millions more.

The five-year Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) project was launched in 2007, funded by a nearly $12 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Now in its fourth year, the project recently received a second dose of funding to focus on other crops.

 

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Ash borers hit trees in nearly half of Indiana
By Najib Aminy
Indy Star
Date Added: 6/29/2011
ash borer flier

Metro-area residents are bracing for an invasion by a pest that is now on Indianapolis' doorstep after having already killed nearly a third of the state's ash trees.

Hancock County is one of four new Indiana counties where the emerald ash borer's presence has been confirmed. Since it was first spotted in the northeastern part of Indiana in 2004, the destructive beetle has now made a home in 42 counties -- nearly half of the state -- the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday.

 

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Program offers protection from stray chemicals
By Mikel Livingston
Journal and Courier
Date Added: 6/29/2011
Bees

Dan Cassens has put a lot of time and money into his 20-acre Christmas tree farm in Lafayette.

It takes about seven years for a Christmas tree to mature, meaning that if something goes wrong this season, such as a wayward drift of chemical herbicides from a nearby farm, Cassens might be out of business.

 

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Fireflies glow as ageless summer fascination
By MARYJANE SLABY
Journal and Courier
Date Added: 6/28/2011
Tom Turpin

On evenings such as these, the soft flashes rise from fields and wetlands. They glow from the sides of country roads. And from backyards, children play catch and release.

Fireflies. A sure sign of an Indiana summer.

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Purdue entomology grad student Adam Salyer wins Pi Chi Omega Award
PCT Media Group
Date Added: 6/21/2011
Adam Salyer

The scholarships will be awarded to Amanda L. Eiden, Ph.D. student, University of Florida; Adam Salyer, M.S student, Purdue University; and Mark H. Goodman, Ph.D. student, University of Kentucky

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Salivating over wheat plants may net Hessian flies big meal or death
by Brian Wallheimer
Purdue News Service
Date Added: 6/16/2011
Alternate text to describe the picture goes here

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The interaction between a Hessian fly's saliva and the wheat plant it is attacking may be the key to whether the pest eats like a king or dies like a starving pauper, according to a study done at Purdue University.

"The insect induces or suppresses susceptibility in the plant," said Christie Williams, a research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and a Purdue associate professor of entomology. "It's not that the fly larva is making holes and retrieving nutrients as once thought. The larva is doing something chemically to change the plant."

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'Bug man' testifies in Anthony trial
by Eric Weddle
(Journal and Courier)
Date Added: 6/16/2011
Dr. Neal Haskell testifies during the trial of Casey Anthony. (By Joe Burbank/AP)

In 1981, Neal Haskell was planting corn on his 800-acre family farm in Rensselaer when the police rolled up.

Haskell knew the lawmen, since he was a special deputy for the Jasper County Sheriff's Department.

But what they were asking of the farmer, or the "bug guy," as he was known, was in a whole new realm at the time.

"This was no joke. They had a body with insects on it," Haskell said Wednesday. "They wanted to see if I would go out to the morgue so we could figure out how long the body had been (dead) by what insects were on it. And I thought, well, I will give it a try."

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Purdue Entomology Alum Luke Jacobus (BS '00, PhD '06) talks about mosquitoes and the wet spring weather
Department of Entomology
Date Added: 6/15/2011
Luke Jacobus

Luke M. Jacobus (BS '00, PhD '06) is the Laboratory and Personnel Manager at the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center in the Department of Biology at Indiana University.

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Kathy Heinsohn (PhD '98) authors cover story “How to Beat the Mighty Ant” in Pest Management Professional
Kathy Heinsohn
Date Added: 6/10/2011
Pest Management Professional May 2011

All types of ants have been persistent pests to humankind since well before the Bible was written, and they remain so today. But knowing more about each major ant species and embracing tools and techniques proven to provide long-term control will help you conquer the mighty pest ant. Identification, best management practices and using the correct tools in the correct manner at the correct time are three keys to eradicating ant infestations most effectively and cost efficiently.

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Hybrid could give bees an edge in mite fight
by Maryjane Slaby
Journal and Courier
Date Added: 6/6/2011
Jon Foster examines a beehive frame Thursday. He and his father, Ken Foster, keep about 50 hives on the family’s Lafayette property and sell honey to neighbors and local stores. / (By Jordan Kartholl/Journal & Courier)

Off a wooden fence post, a black sign juts out. "Honey for Sale," it reads in yellow letters with a bee between the first two words.

Down the gravel driveway and over a makeshift plywood bridge on a small creek is what beekeeper Ken Foster nicknamed one of his "bee yards."

Foster, a third-generation beekeeper, along with his son, Jon, monitor the bees weekly now that the weather is warm. They look to prevent swarming, where the bees leave to create a new hive, and to make sure as many bees as possible are free of disease and healthy.

"The secret to honey production is a large population," Foster said.

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Emerald ash borer awareness is focus of new Purdue program
by Erica Sullivan
Purdue News Service
Date Added: 5/26/2011
Dying ash tree, effects of emerald ash borer

Purdue Extension has begun a summerlong program to help homeowners manage ash trees in their yards as the emerald ash borer continues its destructive path through Indiana.

Purdue’s Neighbors Against Bad Bugs, a collaboration among Purdue Master Gardeners, city foresters and neighborhood groups, has declared this season "The Summer of NABB."

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Ron Bitner (MS '70) Named 2011 John V. Osmun Alumni Award Winner
by Steve Yaninek
Date Added: 5/9/2011
Ron and Mary Bitner

It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Ron Bitner (MS ‘70) has been selected to receive the 2011 John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award in Entomology.

Dr. Bitner received his B.S. degree from the College of Idaho, his M.S. in Entomology from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. in Entomology from Utah State University. He has been president of Pollination and Pest Management Consulting Services since 1981. Services include IPM programs for alfalfa seed, orchard crops and vineyards.

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Purdue gets funding for 2nd phase of hermetic storage for crops
by Keith Robinson
Purdue News Service
Date Added: 5/6/2011
2 women learn to use PICS bag to store cowpeas during a demonstration in Ghana

Purdue University will receive $1.1 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to determine whether a storage technology developed for cowpeas and now widely used by farmers in sub-Saharan Africa will work for other African crops.

 

The award builds on the $11.8 million Gates-funded project called Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage, or PICS, which began in 2007. It found that hermetic storage of the staple cowpea, known in America as the black-eyed pea, was practical and profitable for African farmers and ensured a supply of the nutritious legume for many months after harvest. Without the storage, farmers would have to sell their cowpeas immediately after harvest when the price is lowest or treat them with sometimes dangerous insecticides.

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Rick Foster, Purdue Afghanistan Team, win 2011 Purdue Agriculture TEAM Award
by Jay Akridge
Date Added: 4/14/2011
Rick Foster

Celebrate the success of the Purdue Afghanistan Team, winner of the 2011 Purdue Agriculture TEAM Award on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. The ceremony will be from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. in the Pfendler Hall Dean's Auditorium.

The Team consists of the following members:

Rick Foster, Entomology
Ned E. Kalb, International Programs in Agriculture
James M. Lowenberg-DeBoer, International Programs in Agriculture
Kevin T. McNamara, Agriculture Economics & International Programs in Agriculture
Jerry L. Peters, Youth Development and Agricultural Education
George E. Van Scoyoc, Agronomy

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2011 Spring Teaching Awards for Entomology
by Steve Yaninek
Date Added: 4/12/2011
Jonathan Neal accepting his award

The College of Agriculture held it's spring teaching awards program on Friday (Apr 8). In addition to the information already circulated in the department (see below), we had two other nominees in the department to recognize.

Doug Richmond – Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching
Jeff Holland – Early Career Award

Congratulations to Doug and Jeff!

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Rick Foster and others in Purdue Ag begin second phase of help for Afghanistan
by Keith Robinson
Purdue News Service
Date Added: 4/5/2011
Marvin Green

Purdue University's efforts to help war-torn Afghanistan improve the capabilities of its agricultural universities enter a second phase with an agreement for $32 million in additional funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

The Strengthening Afghan Agriculture Faculties agreement, announced Monday (April 4), is a five-year grant to continue and expand the work Purdue initiated under the USAID-funded Advancing Afghan Agriculture Alliance, known as A4. Purdue received $7 million in funding under A4, which ended March 31.

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Purdue entomology student becomes the 'John Wooden' of high school entomology state championships
From the TownOfConverse.com
Date Added: 4/4/2011
Marvin Green

Teacher and coach of 43 Entomology State Championships since 1962, a run of 27 consecutive championships to 2008! An impressive legacy for Marvin Green and Oak Hill Entomology teams through the years. The dynamics of a winning dynasty often produce those factors that can work against you with changing eligibility and contest requirements that, at times, seem designed to "level the playing field". In each case, Green coached teams responded to the new challenge and asserted their proven tradition of success.

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Tom Turpin leads group teaching science to kids through theater
by Christy Hunter
The Exponent
Date Added: 3/22/2011
Tom Turpin - Purdue Entomology

Purdue students dressed as giant butterflies and mosquitoes are flying into elementary classrooms to teach about entomology.

The group responsible is Purdue Science Theater Outreach, spearheaded by professor Tom Turpin. The idea for the group began last semester when he collaborated with education professor Marcia Gentry to instruct HONR 299, "Science, Education, and Theater: Inspiring Children and Their Teachers." As part of class assignments, students researched, directed and performed an original play, "The Insecta Class Yearbook," for fifth-graders. Following the class' success, Turpin decided to organize a formal Purdue group whose members will participate in the same activities.

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John Mumford (BS '74) to receive Purdue Agriculture's top award
by Tom Campbell
Purdue News Service
Date Added: 3/22/2011
John Mumford

The College of Agriculture will present its highest honor, the Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award, to eight recipients during a campus ceremony April 1.

"These eight people represent who we are and what we do so well," said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. "They are businesspeople, educators and researchers working in both the public and private sectors, and they are all leaders. We take great pride in our alumni, and these are eight of our best."

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Congratulations to ESA-NCB Participants and Winners!
by Steve Yaninek and Rick Foster
Date Added: 3/21/2011
2011 ESA NCB Winners from Purdue

President Rick Foster presided over the 66th Annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America North Central Branch in Minneapolis this week. The meetings featured 8 symposia, 141 paper presentations, and 66 poster presentations. Final registration totaled 345, an increase of more than 100 from the previous year’s meeting.

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New Learning Tool Assessed in Purdue Forensic Science Program
by Steve Tally
Purdue News Service
Date Added: 3/2/2011
Advanced Forensics class using new DoubleTake iPhone app

A mobile application that allows Purdue University students to submit videos to fulfill classroom assignments is now available from the Apple iTunes App Store and as a website.

DoubleTake is available to Purdue students and staff and will eventually be made available to other institutions.

"Our goal is to make videos as easy to use in the classroom as traditional papers," says Kyle Bowen, director of informatics for Information Technology at Purdue.

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David Fincannon (BS '82) produces short film on Dr. Seuss
by PCT Online
Date Added: 3/2/2011
Fincannon's video of Dr. Seuss product placement

A short film by David W. Fincannon describing how Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) used product placement in his advertising cartoons to provide enough income to continue his cartoonist career. Some consider this the first time humor was used to sell a product. Geisel's birthday is March 2.

View the video.

 
Steve Yaninek joins CAST Board as the CEDA Representative
By Melissa Sly
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology
Date Added: 2/11/2011
Steve Yaninek

There have been several additions and changes to the CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology) Board. Iowa Soybean Association is our most recent nonprofit member joining the board, and American Association of Bovine Practitioners joined last fall. In addition, there have been several new appointees to replace representatives who have moved to new positions with the Board of Directors, or who have finished their terms.

Please join me in welcoming the newest members of the CAST Board of Representatives!

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Rick Foster and others meet to strengthen ties between N. American and Afghan universities
By Ian Wilhelm
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Date Added: 1/28/2011
Afghan university and Ministry of Higher Education officials discussed ways that their country's universities could advance as they met in Indianapolis this week, but they said they needed well-considered help from international partners

Western universities can play a crucial role in rebuilding war-torn Afghanistan but must make sure they listen to local needs and connect with the government's education plan, said Afghan higher-education officials at a conference here.

The meeting, which was organized by Ball State University and sponsored by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the U.S. State Department, brought together university and government leaders to discuss ways to strengthen ties between North American and Afghan higher-education institutions.

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Wheat resistance genes failing, new approach needed to stop flies
By Brian Wallheimer
Purdue News Service
Date Added: 1/24/2011
Two Hessian flies on a piece of wheat.
Two Hessian flies on a piece of wheat. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)

Many of the genes that allow wheat to ward off Hessian flies are no longer effective in the southeastern United States, and care should be taken to ensure that resistance genes that so far haven't been utilized in commercial wheat lines are used prudently, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture and Purdue University scientists.

An analysis of wheat lines carrying resistance genes from dozens of locations throughout the Southeast showed that some give little or no resistance to the Hessian fly, a major pest of wheat that can cause millions of dollars in damage to wheat crops each year. Others, even those considered the most effective, are allowing wheat to become susceptible to the fly larvae, which feed on and kill the plants.

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John Mumford (BS '74) named 1 of 8 Distinguished Ag Alumni in 2011
By Steve Yaninek
Department of Entomology
Date Added: 1/24/2011
Western Bean Cutworm

Congratulations to John Mumford (BS '74) who will be recognized as one of eight Distinguished Ag Alumni in 2011.

The award ceremony is scheduled for April 1st, 2011 so mark you calendars. Details will follow.

View full list of awardees >>