- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
“They feed mostly at night and hide during the day,” according to the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. They hide in the bark crevices, mulch, and “protected compact plant parts such as dried, curled leaves, and under trunk wraps.”
“Earwigs feed on dead and living insects and insect eggs and on succulent plant parts, UC IPM says. "Earwig nymphs and adults will climb trees and feed on flower buds, leaves, and fruit of trees during the spring flush months (March through May). Nymphs tend to feed on plant material more than adults...Earwigs can be very problematic on young trees with trunk wraps or cardboard guards, in which they reside. They climb the trees and feed on the new leaves. Large numbers of earwigs can defoliate trees.”
Enter ecological pest management specialist Hanna Kahl, who recently received her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, studying with UC Davis distinguished professor Jay Rosenheim. She'll present her exit seminar on “Herbivory of Citrus Fruit by European Earwigs in California” at 4:10 p.m, Wednesday, Sept. 29 in Room 122 of Briggs Hall. This in-person will be the first of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's fall seminars. Many of the others will be virtual.
“Growers and pest control advisors in California suspect that European earwigs (Forficula auricularia) damage young citrus fruit,” Kahl writes in her abstract. “However, very little is known about herbivory by earwigs on citrus fruit. Our work details characteristics of herbivory by earwigs on citrus fruit and the use of sticky and pesticide barriers to manage earwigs and other citrus pests.”
Kahl, awarded her doctorate in August, focused her research on understanding the role of European earwigs in California citrus; developing a whole systems approach to manage earwigs and other citrus pests; and feeding preferences of fort-tailed bush katydids and citrus thrips on California citrus.
Kahl is now an ecological pest management specialist at Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Davis. She leads projects and extension efforts on sustainable pest management tactics.
She received an ongoing grant in 2019 from the Citrus Research Board on “Characterizing Earwig Damage to Citrus Fruits, and Damage Prevention using Trunk Barrier Treatment.” She also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, awarded in 2017, and a 2018-19 Keller Pathways Fellowship (for entrepreneurship) from the University of California.
Active in both the Entomological Society of America and the Ecological Society of America, she won first place in the Student 15-Minute Paper Competition at the 2016 meeting of the International Congress of Entomology; and second place in the Student 10-Minute Paper Competition at the 2019 meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). She served on the Eastern Branch team that won second place in the ESA's 2016 Linnaean Games, now called the Entomology Games. She co-organized a seminar, “Agroecology with Communities: Cross-Disciplinary Collaborations Between Ecology, Agriculture and Social Science,” for the Ecological Society of America at its 2019 meeting.
Kahl received her bachelor's degree in biology from Whitman College, Walla Walla; her master's degree in entomology from the University of Maryland, College Park. At Whitman College, she researched the effects of reservoirs as habitat barriers on song sharing of the birds, dickcissels. At the University of Maryland, she focused her research topics on effects of red clover as a living mulch cover crop on arthropod herbivores, natural enemies, pollination and yield in cucumber; (2) consumptive and non-consumptive effects of wolf spiders on cucumber beetles and (3) effects of red clover living mulch on greenhouse gas emissions. She studied abroad in a six-month School for International Training program in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India in 2010. Her research topic: Village dairy production in Haryana and Orissa.
Her current activities include being the chapter leader for Women in Data (WID), Sacramento.
Kahl's exit seminar will be recorded for later viewing, according to seminar coordinator Shahid Siddique (email@example.com), a nematologist and assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The seminars take place every Wednesday at 4:10 p.m. Many are virtual./span>
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
"A worker honey bee has how many pairs of wax glands on its abdomen?"
That would be four, answered the UC Davis Entomology Team did at the Entomological Society of America's Virtual Entomology Games, a college-bowl type of competition formerly known as the Linnaean Games.
Doctoral students Jill Oberski, Zachary Griebenow and Hannah Kahl of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology teamed to compete in Games, a fun and lively event but this year it went virtual due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions.
Oberski and Griebenow are both fourth-year doctoral students in the Phil Ward lab, while Kahl, a member of the Jay Rosenheim lab, is currently a third-year doctoral student who will begin her fourth year in January.
The UC Davis team won its preliminary round and then entered the highly competitive finals, placing 11th. Alabama's Auburn University edged the Boiler Bugs of Purdue to win the championship.
The champions, from Auburn University's Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, answered 27 of the 40 questions correctly, tying with the Boiler Bugs of Purdue, “but Auburn had the closest answer for the tiebreaker question,” Rominiecki said.
In the Entomology Games, teams of two to four students test their entomological knowledge by answering questions drawn from all disciplines of insect science: behavior and ecology, biological control, entomology in culture, integrated pest management (IPM) and insect/plant interactions, medical and veterinary entomology, biochemistry and toxicology economic entomology, history of entomology, morphology and physiology, and systematics and evolution.
ESA did not record the Games this year, as the event itself “was mostly just a recitation of the questions, without the more lively 'buzzing in' format of the live event,” Rominiecki related.
“All in all, we were pleased with how the Entomology Games went this year, in an entirely new format," he said. "Our organizers worked hard in just a few short months to create a virtual version of the Games, and it was great to have teams from all over the country participating as usual, despite the new circumstances. We look forward to returning to an in-person event in the future, of course, but the 2020 virtual edition will be a memorable one. Congratulations to Auburn on their victory, and kudos to all the teams who participated!”
- Keye Luke, Jay Chou, and Bruce Lee have all portrayed Kato, the crimefighting partner of what fictional vigilante?
- What is the full scientific name (genus and species) of the bacterium classified by IRAC as a microbial disruptor of insect midgut membranes?
- "Yoke-winged" is the literal translation of the name of what insect suborder, which can be distinguished from other members of its order by the presence of caudal gills on the aquatic immatures?
- Although this year's festivities were postponed due to COVID-19, the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, normally hosts an annual festival that commemorates the 1966 sightings of what paranormal figure?
- A widely-publicized 2017 study reported a 75 percent decline in insect biomass over the past 27 years. This study was conducted across 63 protected natural areas in what European country?
- What striking form of structural coloration involves color changes based on the angle of the observer, and was recently shown to help jewel beetles camouflage in order to avoid bird predation?
- These specialty loaves of bread are labeled "kuwagata," which is a Japanese word that refers to insects in what family?
- "Stimulo-deterrent diversion" was one of the earlier names for what IPM strategy that uses volatile cues from both repellent and attractant plants to reduce damage from insect pests?
- The megalopteran family Corydalidae is divided into two clades: Corydalinae (aka dobsonflies) and what other subfamily, whose members are commonly known as fishflies?
- Bombykol and bombykal are components of a sex pheromone emitted by certain females in what insect order?
- What term refers to a parasitoid that halts the development of its host shortly after the initial parasitization?
- Paederus dermatitis, also known as whiplash dermatitis, is a type of skin irritation caused by contact with the hemolymph of certain species in what insect family?
- What type of semiochemical benefits the receiver and harms the emitter?
- What sixteen-letter adjective is most commonly used to describe fungi and nematodes that can potentially act as biological control agents of insect pests?
- Of the three types of lobes typically found in an insect brain, which lobe innervates the labrum and foregut?
- A 2020 Ig Nobel Prize was awarded to Richard Vetter for collecting evidence that many entomologists exhibit what psychological condition? This condition is also the title of a movie that won the 1990 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.
- What twelve-letter term was coined by entomologist Willi Hennig to refer to a derived character that is shared between multiple species and their most recent common ancestor?
- The first sighting of emerald ash borer in North America occurred in 2002, when it was discovered attacking ash trees in Ontario, Canada and what U.S. state?
- Green Hornet
- Bacillus thuringiensis
- Push pull
The tiebreaker question? It dealt with the number of Far Side comics referencing insects. The question: "Gary Larson is known for using insects as a source of humor in his acclaimed comic strip 'The Far Side.' A survey of 4,300 'Far Side' comics revealed that exactly how many contained some sort of entomological reference?" Answer: 359.
Over the last few years, UC Davis teams have won the national championship three times in the fun and lively competitions. (See Bug Squad blog)
"Hopefully, we can be back onstage in person next year," said Oberski.