Today, Matt and Erin cover a wide range of topics. First, there are two entomologists interviewing for ISU president: Sonny Ramaswamy and Wendy Wintersteen. But the conversation is quickly diverted into talking about why entomologists make good leaders. Matt has another F.I.T. that includes a reference to Hogwarts. Tom Saunders named a new parasitoid wasp species after Lucius Malfoy, a character in the Harry Potter series. The new wasp was named Lusius malfoyi. Erin asks Matt about fall nuisance invaders around Ames, including multicolored Asian lady beetles, minute pirate bugs, and brown lacewings. Erin gives a shout-out to an insect-related podcast, Arthropod, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This interesting series goes in-depth on insects and closely related species (e.g., painted lady butterflies and brown recluse spiders). Lastly, they are spreading the word about a fundraiser for BugGuide - help them meet their goal of $15,000!
Who lives in an insect coffin?
Today, Matt and Erin take a major detour and talk about an art exhibit that features fantasy coffins. Matt visited with Eric Anang, an artist-in-residence at the University of Iowa. Erik's family is from Ghana and they have a tradition of building fantasy coffins designed to reflect unique personalities. He recently was interested in the decline of insects, particularly lightening bugs, in his native area and that sparked the idea for this exhibit. You can see the exhibit at the Blackbox Memorial Theater at U of I now and can hear Matt give a seminar on October 26.
Matt and Erin just got back from the Annual Entomological Society of America meeting in Denver and their brains are full! They summarize some of their favorite presentations and other highlights from the meeting. Specifically, Matt enjoyed a presentation by Cornell student Maxwell Helmberger who used entomopathogenic nematodes to manage grubs in turf. Maxwell has a YouTube channel with some fun animations!
Don't call it a comeback!
The Soybean Pest Podcast is alive and kicking again! Matt and Erin had a long winter's nap but started Season 9 with a good conversation about new students and research, Bt soybean in the U.S., some upcoming events and recent pest activity in Iowa.
Monsanto not pursuing Bt soybean in the U.S.
2018 Pollinator Fest is 23 June!
Soybean aphid egg hatch in northern Iowa
Matt's latest F.I.T. (fun insect trivia) is related to the Little House on the Prairie.
Bees in the (European) news again
In this second episode of Season 9, Matt and Erin bounce around a variety of topics. First, Matt provides an update on the neonicotinoid ban in Europe. Neonics have been temporarily banned in Europe for a few years because of risk to honey bees, bumble bees and wild bees. In February, more news came out that supports these risks to pollinators. A vote will happen soon that could possibly permanently restrict or ban neonic use in Europe. Then, Erin reminds us ticks are active in Iowa right now, so beware of these disease vectors if you are in areas with tall vegetation. Over 250 cases of Lyme disease and 17 cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were confirmed in Iowa in 2017. Send your ticks in for ID at the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic.
Thanks, Andy, for the honey drop off! Learn more about Meadow Blazingstar honey and candles here.
Ever wondered what your state insect? Look at the Wikipedia list. Why doesn't Iowa have a state insect?
Gregory R Vannostrand
Warm, wet weather brings all the black flies to the yard
Today, Matt and Erin bounce around a few topics of insect-related news. The black flies and mosquitoes have been especially aggressive in central Iowa this week. Erin summarizes field crop pest activity in central and southern Iowa, mainly some caterpillar feeding in corn and bean leaf beetle feeding in soybean. Matt's F.I.T. is somewhat random, but eventually ties it together with an insect.
Black flies and bug eaters
In this episode, Matt and Erin talk about randomness for the first 4 minutes (like usual). But they eventually move into recent insect activity in Iowa. The black flies, sometimes called buffalo gnats, are especially active this year and are aggressive blood feeders. It's hard to be outside the last two weeks because the females are swarming and causing painful bites. Matt noted an absence of soybean aphid activity on buckthorn, the overwintering host. They are unsure what this means for colonization timing and dynamics on soybean this summer. Matt presents a timely and interesting F.I.T. that combines soccer, Midwestern history and entomology.
A case of "false" identity
In this podcasting episode, Matt and Erin talk about a disagreement in insect ID. The false Japanese beetle often emerges before the true Japanese beetles and people mistakenly confuse the two species. Erin recently wrote about the timing of adult emergence of JB in ICM News and how to tell the difference between the two species in an ICM Blog post. By the way, we think Erin was right on this one even though Matt was super confident! Matt gives a quick summary of hexapods used as college team mascots (Thanks to fellow podcaster, Jonathan Larson at UNL, for the list!). Pollinator Fest is next weekend at Reiman Gardens.