Department of
Entomology

Entomology News

Grad student names new treehopper species after Lady Gaga

Brendan Morris discovered a new genus and species of treehopper. He named it in honor of the musical artist Lady Gaga.

How changes in weather patterns could lead to more insect invasions

Dr. Esther Ngumbi (Entomology) reports on outbreaks of insect pests and insect invasions in the African continent. Currently, several African countries – including Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia – are dealing with the one of the most devastating outbreaks of desert locusts. This comes after recent fall armyworm invasions which affected more than 44 African countries. Countries also grapple with more localised pest invasions of insects like the South American tomato moth and maize stem borers.

Lessons on how to effectively tackle insect invasions

Dr. Esther Ngumbi details how pest insects can be effectively managed in Africa. Kenyan food production and grazing land is under threat from a huge desert locust invasion. The insects are currently in two counties in northern Kenya and are now spreading to other Kenyan regions including Meru, Laikipia, and Rift Valley. The government has yet to quantify losses but past attacks have caused harvest losses of up to 70%.

Announcing the 37th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival

Thank you for helping to make our 37th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival (IFFF) such a great success! Hosted by the Department of Entomology and the Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA), it was held on Saturday, February 22, 2020 in Foellinger Auditorium at UIUC.

Researchers use board game to educate students on role and importance of bees

Researchers from the Berenbaum Lab in the Department of Entomology are helping local kids gain a better understanding of bees, their life cycle, and their role in our world. Led by Dr. Bernarda Calla and Dr. Ling-Hsiu Liao, the group of researchers visited Urbana Middle School’s SPLASH (Students Playing and Learning After School Hours) program to pilot an educational board game about bees and pollination.

Gene Robinson speaks at LAS Dean's Distinguished Lecture: Inaugural event provides opportunity to learn from outstanding scholars

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has established the LAS Dean’s Distinguished Lecture to provide wider opportunity for people to hear from faculty who are leaders in their field. The inaugural lecture featured Gene Robinson, professor of entomology and director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

About 200 people showed up for the event, held in the Natural History Building.

Professor Andrew Suarez elected AAAS Fellow

Eight professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to include Entomology's and EEB's Andrew Suarez, have been elected 2019 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Suarez, a professor of entomology and head of the department of evolution, ecology and behavior, is a leading figure in conservation and invasion biology.

A little prairie can rescue honey bees from famine on the farm, study finds

Scientists, including Adam Dolezal, placed honey bee hives next to soybean fields in Iowa and tracked how the bees fared over the growing season. To the researchers’ surprise, the bees did well for much of the summer. The colonies thrived and gained weight, building up their honey stores. But in August, the trend reversed. By mid-October, most of the honey was gone and the overwintering brood was malnourished, the team discovered.

New study shows link between iridescence and friction, wettability of beetle cuticle

Iridescent appearance is ubiquitous in the insect world, and is used for a variety of functions, such as signaling to a mate or providing camouflage. A new study from the University of Illinois is exploring the link between iridescence and the biomechanical properties of beetles’ cuticle, in an effort to better understand what other functions iridescence might serve.