That's what postdoctoral scholar Bodil Cass of the Jay Rosenheim lab, University of California, Davis, will discuss at her seminar from 4:10 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25 in 122 Briggs Hall, UC Davis campus. Admission is free, and the seminar is open to all interested persons.
"Citrus is a major agricultural industry in California with a established integrated pest management (IPM) program," she says. "However, the IPM guidelines for citrus are based on years of experience and careful field research in navel oranges, and have not been updated to accommodate the recent dramatic increase in mandarin acreage in the San Joaquin Valley. We know oranges and mandarins are very different plants, but not which practices need to be modified to effectively control pests in mandarins."
Cass says that updating the IPM guidelines for "a new citrus species is a substantial challenge, given the scale and pace of citrus production. We are using a combination of ecoinformatics--data mining of pest management records provided by cooperating citrus growers--and field experiments to expand our understanding of the arthropod pest complex in California citrus. Analyses of the historical commercial data indicate that fork-tailed bush katydids, Scudderia furcata, which are a key pest in oranges, very rarely damage some species of mandarin. We are using field experiments to test hypotheses to explain this intriguing observation, and to determine whether katydids are indeed a pest at all in mandarins."
A native of the state of Queensland, Australia, Cass is an accomplished scholar who holds several degrees:
- A bachelor's degree (2005) from the University of Queensland, where she graduated with high distinction and a dean's commendation for high achievement. (She completed the Advanced Studies Program in Science in 2005, and the Enhanced Studies Program in Chemistry, 2012)
- Honors Integrative Biology (2006), University of Queensland, with high distinction and valedictorian
- Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Program in Entomology and Insect and minor in ecology and evolutionary biology (2015) from the University of Arizona (4.0 GPA)
Cass joined the lab of Jay Rosenheim, UC Davis professor of entomology, in 2016, and also serves as an associate in the Center for Population Biology at UC Davis. She has published her work in Oecologia, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Microbial Ecology, Research in Microbiology, Science, and PLoS Genetics, PLoS Biology and PLoS Pathogens, among other journals.
A member of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), Cass delivered oral presentations at the ESA annual conferences in 2011 and 2015, and also at the 2016 International Congress of Entomology (ICE), co-chaired by UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal and held last September in Orlando, Fla. She is the co-principal investigator of a 2017 grant awarded by the Citrus Research Board.
Cass has also won a number of fellowships and awards, including national awards in the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Program in both 2008 and 2009.
It's not at all surprising that one of the many awards she won in the beginning of her career was the "Smart Women, Smart State Award" in the undergraduate category, statewide competition (Queensland) in 2005.
This is an insect that looks as if it were assembled by a dysfunctional committee: long angular legs, long antennae, and beady eyes on a thin green body.
All hail the katydid.
It's usually camouflaged, disguised as a leaf in the vegetation--Nature's gift.
But in our pollinator garden, we see them. Two of them. One is tucked beneath red rose petals, and another is nestled inside a white cosmos.
Katydids feed on leaves, flowers, fruit and plant seeds, and often will take just a bite of fruit, such as apricot, pear, peach, plum, blueberry and citrus, but enough to cause considerable damage. If they're agricultural pests, check out the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) website and learn how to manage them.
These katydids proved to be photogenic.
Katydids did it.
When it comes to the best of the industrial-strength shredding machines, they're it.
The nymphs have been feeding our Iceland poppies, chewing incredible holes in petal after petal, and then looking around for more. They leave behind what looks like shredded cabbage.
But if you catch them early in the morning with the sun lighting them up, they're kind of beautiful with their thin, angular legs; antennae longer than their bodies; and beady looking eyes fixated at you. The nymphs can't fly, so when disturbed, they merely hop away, camouflaged in the vegetation.
"Katydids occasionally become damaging pests in orchards where broad-spectrum pesticides were not applied or are under minimum tillage programs," according to the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program's Pest Note on Katydids. "High numbers of these pests may occur near raisin and wine grape vineyards, where the do no damage to the fruit."
"Nymphs feed on leaves or fruit early in the spring as they climb from the ground to the tree. Katydid nymphs tend to take one bite out of a fruit before moving on to another feeding site. Hence, a few katydids may damage a large number of fruit in a short time. Feeding wounds heal over and enlarge into corky patches as the fruit expands. The most serious damage occurs when katydids feed on young fruit, which become severely distorted as they develop. Nymphs and adults also chew holes in foliage. Smaller nymphs feed in the middle of the leaf, creating small holes, whereas larger nymphs and adults feed on the leaf edge."
See more information by Googling "katydids UC IPM." You'll find information on UC IPM guidelines for katydids on citrus, nectarine, pomegranate, pear, apricot, plum and other crops.
Meanwhile, those katydid nymphs continue to frequent our Iceland poppies. Other dinner guests--uninvited--are showing up, too. Let's make a hole in one! (Or two, or three!) Let's eat! Let's shred!
Ever heard the sound of katydids?
The meadow katydids, the true katydids, the round-headed katydids, the bush katydids and the shiedback katydids?
They're all there, in all their glory.
Entomologist/educator/author/lecturer/photographer/broadcaster Art Evans of Richmond, Va., today posted a link to "Songs of Insects" on his Facebook page with these words: "The evenings and mornings are filled with the songs of crickets, kaytdids and cicadas."
The web page showcases a CD that's the work of Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger.
Evans say this is "a great way to start identifying these songs of the season."
Indeed, it is.
And his Facebook fans agreed.
Wrote one: "I have a friend who fell in love with tree crickets after hearing a male sing on her balcony...fast forward a few years and she's a tree cricket expert who co-described a new species! As little a thing as an insect's song can change lives...."
Added several others:
- "Art--For this reason I love living in the higher rainfall portions of this latitude (nearly the same as Richmond's). The frosts of fall are sad, though--the sudden nocturnal silence."
- "A genuine gift for those of us in Seattle, which is definitely singing insect-deprived!"
- "So now I'll never get to sleep. I'll be trying to identify all those songs that used to lull me into dreamland. Thanks anyway, Art."
Katydids, found throughout most of the world, belong to the family, Tettigoniidae and order Orthoptera.
Among the sounds you'll hear:
Gladiator - Orchelimum gladiator
Sword-bearing - Neonconcephalus ensiger
Least - Atlanticus monticola
If you're not partial to katydids, not to worry. The web page also includes the sounds of assorted crickets and cicadas./span>