- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Insects--their beauty, their structure, their diversity--are inspiring noted fashion designers, but those fashion designers are way, way behind the UC Davis Entomology Graduate Students' Association (EGSA).
EGSA members are graduate student totally into bugs. They study them, research them and wear them. And yes, some do eat them. Can you say "chocolate chirp cookies? (made with cricket flour)?"
Every year EGSA conducts a t-shirt contest and the faculty, staff and students pick the winner. The good news is that the t-shirts--past and present--are for sale all year around, but folks take a special interest in them during the holiday season. Stocking stuffers!
The Beatles? Think The Beetles.
Instead of the English rock band John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star crossing Abbey Road in single file (that's the iconic image on the cover of their album, Abbey Road), think of The Beetles (four insects) crossing Abbey Road in single file. Beneath the images of the beetles are their family names: Phengogidae, Curculionidae, Cerambycidae and Scarabaeidae. Think glowworm, snout, long-horned, and scarab beetles.
If you're not partial to beetles, how about honey bees, wasps, and "Entomology's Most Wanted?"
You're in luck.
"This year we are discounting some of our old designs from $15 to $10!" announced the officers, headed by Ph.D student and ant specialist Brendon Boudinot of the Phil Ward lab. "Order by Dec. 15th for delivery within the United States by the 23rd. If you are on campus and would like to pick up the shirt instead, please do not pay for shipping online and email Emily Bick at email@example.com (of the Christian Nansen lab) to schedule pick up. The online store will close on Dec. 17th until early January." The prices range from $10 to $15 to $17. Access their online store: https://mkt.com/UCDavisEntGrad/
It's for a good cause: helping the graduate students. The added bonus, you get to "bug" your friends, family and colleagues when you wear these t-shirts.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Do you know the answer?
That was one of the questions that the UC Davis Linnaean Games Team answered correctly at the championship finals during the 2016 Linnaean Games, hosted recently by the Entomological Society of America (ESA) in Orlando, Fla.
The UC Davis team of captain Ralph Washington and Brendon Boudinot, third-year graduate students, and Emily Bick, a second-year graduate student, successfully defended their national title, defeating the University of Georgia (the national champion in 2012), by the score of 145 to 55. The UC Davis entomologists earlier outscored Ohio State University, North Carolina State University (champions in 2014), and Texas A&M in advancing to the finals.
Congratulations, UC Davis! And well done, all other teams!
The ESA Linnaean Games are a lively question-and-answer, college bowl-style competition on entomological facts played between university-sponsored student teams. The teams score points by correctly answering random questions. The winning team receives a trophy cup for the department, and each individual, a plaque.
About the trio: Washington is studying for his doctorate with major professors Steve Nadler and Brian Johnson, who respectively specialize in systematics and evolutionary biology of nematodes and the evolution, behavior, genetics, and health of honey bees; Boudinot with major professor Phil Ward, systematics and evolutionary biology of ants; and Bick, with major professor Christian Nansen. Bick is working on ecosystem models to optimize pest management in two systems: invasive aquatic weed species water hyacinth and its biological control agent, Neochetina bruchi; and working to control Lygus bugs using alfalfa as a trap crop in strawberries. UC Davis Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey serves as the team's advisor.
So, what's the answer to the question about pets in the apartment?
“Cat flea pupae eclose in response to the presence of a host.”
Here are some of the other questions that the UC Davis team correctly answered (answers at the end of this blog):
- Insects inhabiting a very thin water film such as splash zones marginal to streams are called what?
- The insect order Notoptera unites what two former insect orders?
- What are the two obvious clinical symptoms that someone is suffering from onchocerciasis?
- What is the common name for the zygentoman pest that thrives in high humidity and high temperatures and is often found in boiler rooms?
- Projection neurons travel across what two major regions of the insect brain?
ESA will soon post a video of the championship round. Meanwhile, watch the 2015 championship round (UC Davis defeated the University of Florida). The knowledge of both teams will amaze you.
- On the Origin of the Linnaean Games: Article from American Entomologist
- Bugs, Brains and Trivia: Article from Smithsonian
- Department news story about UC Davis Team's 2015 championship (includes some of the questions asked)
And now...drum roll...the answers to those five questions above...
- Notoptera unites Mantophasmatodea and Grylloblattodea
- Blindness and hanging tissue around lymph nodes, often times the scrotum.
- The firebrat, Thermobia domestica
- The protocerebrum and the deutocerebrum
You answered them all correctly, right?