Professor James R. Carey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology will tell you why.
He will discuss the invasion of tropical fruit flies in California at his seminar from 12:05 to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 3 in Room 1022 of the Life Sciences Addition, corner of Hutchison and Kleiber Hall drives.
Carey's seminar, titled "From Trickle to Flood: The Large-Scale, Cryptic Invasion of California by Tropical Fruit Flies," is the first in the department's spring-quarter seminar series. It's open to all interested persons, and it will be recorded and available for later viewing on UCTV.
"Despite aggressive and costly efforts by government agencies to prevent their introduction, establishment and spread, California has experienced an inexorable march of tropical fruit flies (Tephritidae) into the state with three-fold more species detected and thousands more flies captured than in all other mainland U.S. states combined," Carey says.
"Since 1954 when the first fly was detected a total of 17 species in 4 genera and 11,386 individuals (adults/larvae) have been detected at over 3,348 locations in 330 cities. My colleagues and I conclude from spatial mapping analyses of historical capture patterns and modeling that, despite the approximately 250 emergency eradication projects that have been directed against these pests by state and federal agencies, a minimum of 5 and as many as 9 or more tephritids are established and widespread. This list includes three of the most economically-important species in the world—the Mediterranean, Mexican and oriental fruit flies."
In his seminar, Carey will "outline and discuss the evidence for our conclusions with particular attention to the incremental, chronic, and insidious nature of the invasion involving ultra-small, barely-detectable populations. I will consider the more general implications of our results in scientific, economic, and operational contexts of invasion biology, as well as ethical issues concerned with the purposeful obfuscation of historical fruit fly detection data at individual, administrative and institutional levels."
Carey, former vice chair of the Department of Entomology, focuses his research on insect demography, mortality dynamics, and insect invasion biology. He received his bachelor and master of science degrees from Iowa State University (1973; 1975) and his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley (1980).
Highly recognized, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Entomological Society of America.
Carey is a noted authority on the invasion of the tropical fruit flies. He served on the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Medfly Scientific Advisory Panel from 1987-1994, testified to the California Legislature "Committee of the Whole" in 1990 on the Medfly Crisis in California, and authored the paper "Establishment of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly in California" (1992, Science 258, 457).
What's red and black with yellow all over?
Ladybugs, aka lady beetles or ladybird beetles, laying their yellow eggs.
It's a sure sign of spring when aphids emerge, and ladybugs feast on them. One ladybug can reportedly eat 5000 aphids in its lifetime.
That's a lot of aphids!
Meanwhile, the aphids in the fava beans at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis, are doing their part.
The garden, located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, is teeming with aphids on the fava beans.
And teaming with ladybugs in the process of adding more ladybugs to the garden.
If you're looking to get involved with ladybugs as a citizen scientist, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., hosts "The Lost Ladybug Project" to spotlight the ladybugs of North America. On the website, you can learn to identify them, understand their biology, and upload photos.
And it wouldn't hurt to include a photo of a ladybug dining on a scumptious aphid.
From toe biters to flame skimmers...
That's what visitors will see on "Aquatic Insect Day" on Sunday, March 24 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis.
Toe biters (giant water bugs) and flame skimmers (dragonflies) are just some some of the aquatic insects to be featured at the open house from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 Academic Surge, Crocker Lane. The event is free and open to the public.
The toe biters belong to the Belostomatidae family of insects in the order Hemiptera. The largest insects in the order, they are found in freshwater streams and ponds throughout much of the world. In some Asian countries, the giant water bugs are considered a delicacy. The Belostomatids are unique in that the female lays her eggs on the back or wings of a male; the male carries the eggs until they hatch.
The flame skimmers belong to the family Libellulidae and are native to western North America. The red flame skimmer (Libellula saturata) is common in California. The immature flame skimmers or nymphs inhabit warm ponds and streams and feed on the larvae of mosquitoes, aquatic flies and mayflies, as well as on freshwater shrimp, small fish, and tadpoles. You'll often see the adults gliding through the air, catching moths, syrphid flies and bees.
Bohart Museum personnel also will pull out the fly-fisher drawers containing caddisflies, mayflies and stoneflies, said Tabatha Yang, Bohart Museum education and outreach coordinator.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million insect specimens and is the seventh largest insect collection in North America. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.
Visitors can hold such live insects as Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks, and buy gifts at the gift shop, which is filled with t-shirts, jewelry, insect nets, posters and books, including the newly published children’s book about the California dogface butterfly, the state insect. The 35-page book, “The Story of the Dogface Butterfly,” written by UC Davis doctoral candidate Fran Keller and illustrated (watercolor and ink) by Laine Bauer, a 2012 graduate of UC Davis is geared toward kindergarteners through sixth graders. Naturalist Greg Kareofelas of Davis, a volunteer at the Bohart, provided photos.
Net proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to the education, outreach and research programs of the Bohart Museum. The book also can be ordered online at http://www.bohartmuseum.com/the-story-of-the-dogface-butterfly.html.
Bohart officials schedule weekend open houses throughout the academic year so that families and others who cannot attend on the weekdays can do so on the weekends. The Bohart’s regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The insect museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
The remainder of the open houses for the academic year:
Saturday, April 20: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Theme: UC Davis Picnic Day
Saturday, May 11, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Moth-er's Day"
Sunday, June 9, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "How to Find Insects"
For more information, contact Yang at email@example.com or (530) 752-0493.
That should be easy to do. There's so much to say.
Entomologist/artist Diane Ullman, associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and professor of entomology, will be interviewed for an hour-long program on the Insect News Network, a Davis-based radio station, on Wednesday, March 20.
Emmett Brady, founder of the Insect News Network, KDRT 95.7 FM, and host of the “Wednesday Science Doubleplay,” said he will dedicate the entire hour from 5 to 6 p.m. to discussing Ullman’s unique and inspiring career.
"We will explore Ullman’s innovation in academics and education: from her pioneering efforts in the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program to her specialty: thrips."
The Art/Science Fusion Program, founded and directed by Ullman and her colleague, self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick, connects art to science, and science to art.
Brady also will examine the emergence of cultural entomology as a key discipline of the 21st Century and “how careers in science are being re-defined as scientific technology continues to res-shape the modern world.”
For the first hour (4 to 5 p.m.) of the “Wednesday Science Doubleplay” show, Brady will explore “the world of insects, beyond the creepy and the crawly to the fun, the fascinating, the profound and even the sublime.”
Just recently Ullman, along with a team of eight other investigators from six institutions, received a five-year, $3.75 million grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to develop and implement a national scientific and educational network to limit thrips-caused crop losses.
Meanwhile, listen to Diane Ullman's Tedx seminar. And then tune in to Insect News Network to hear an amazing entomologist, artist and administrator.
It was a perfect St. Patrick's Day--not just for the wearing of the green, but for the wearing of the orange.
The Gulf Fritillary butterfly (Agraulis vanillae) arrived in our yard Sunday afternoon, March 16 and deposited an egg, just like E. Bunny will do soon.
The Gulf Frit's host plant is the Passiflora or passion flower vine. Last winter Jack Frost nipped at the leaves and nearly killed one of our two plants but they're both springing back.
The butterfly first touched down on an Amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna) before she located the two passion flower vines. Her battle-scarred wings related the story of a close encounter with a bird or other predator.
Once quite common in the Sacramento area in the 1950s and 1960s, the Gulf Fritillary vanished for about 40 years and is now making a comeback. It's a brightly colored orange butterfly with black markings and silvery spangled hindwings.
It's good to see it again!