Department of
Entomology

Entomology News

New book celebrates Illinois couple’s turning back time in their own backyard

Wildflowers peek their heads through the grass. An eastern tailed-blue butterfly flits among the tall, swaying blades as a red-winged blackbird flies overhead.

When Fred Delcomyn looks outside, this is what he might see.

In 2001, when he and his wife, Nancy, moved to their home outside of Urbana, Illinois, it looked a lot different.

Bee gold: Honey as a superfood

From pesticide detox to increased longevity, the benefits of the sweet stuff go well beyond simply nourishing the hardworking insects in the hive. May Berenabaum answers questions for Knowable Magazine about honey and its health benefits.

Grad Student Visionary: Elizabeth Bello

This edition of Beckman's Grad Student Visionaries series features Elizabeth Bello, a graduate student studying entomology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She takes advantage of Beckman’s Microscopy Suite to further her research in the Alleyne Bioinspiration Co-LAB-orative, or ABCLab.

This Q&A is a spin-off of our Student Researcher Spotlight that highlights the state-of-the-art equipment housed in Beckman's Microscopy Suite and Visualization Laboratory and the graduate students who use it.

Hunting a creature that hunts me

It’s a sweltering summer afternoon. I’m pushing aside tree limbs and crunching leaves to get back to the trap that I baited two hours ago with dry ice to attract ticks. When I get closer, I can see a gossamer mist hovering over a bright white cloth in the dark underbrush. Dry ice “sublimates” in the open air, going from a solid to a gaseous state. It gives off a vapor of carbon dioxide gas that’s denser than the air, mimicking the breath of a tick host resting on the ground.

Solar farms could double as pollinator food supplies

Pollinator habitats and solar farms may seem like ecologically great neighbors, but we still don't understand very much about that relationship. A team of researchers recently published a paper surveying the ins and outs of keeping solar production alongside the kinds of plants that pollinators like bees and butterflies love. The paper notes that there's a good amount of potential here, but more work needs to be done to fully understand the potential partnership.

Field Borders Provide Winter Refuge for Beneficial Predators and Parasitoids

Scott Clem, Ph.D., recently completed his doctoral degree at the University of Illinois. Part of his research focused on evaluating the value of semi-natural field borders as winter refuge for beneficial arthropods that like to eat or parasitize crop pests.

SIB Undergraduate Wins 2021 Beckman Institute Research Image Contest

Research images from a recent contest are the latest to be framed and displayed in the Beckman Institute Director’s conference room. The images showcase the range of research conducted at the institute. Among the winners -- undergraduate student Shreyas Rajagopalan, a member of the Alleyne Bioinspiration Col-LAB-orative.

Cicadas Are Waking Up In Eastern Illinois But Many More Arrive In 2024

After lying dormant for 17 years, billions of Cicadas – big insects with big wings are awakening in far eastern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and other states.

Illinois Newsroom’s Reginald Hardwick talked with Katie Dana (Entomology graduate student), the scientific specialist in entomology at the Illinois Natural Science Survey. She says this year’s insect invasion is just a warmup for 2024.

Graduate Student Elizabeth Bello Awarded 2021 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship

The program offers University of Illinois graduate students at the M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. level the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research at the institute. Elizabeth (Department of Entomology) is pursuing an M.S. in entomology and will work with Marianne Alleyne of entomology and Charles Schroeder of materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering. She will collect and identify Illinois species of leafhoppers, then learn about the structures and size of brochosomes across different species. A brochosome is intricately structured microscopic granule secreted by leafhoppers.

Building a Strong Community: A Key Step in Entomology Student Life

Written by Elizabeth Bello, Department of Entomology graduate student

With many of us feeling the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and self-isolation, some more than others, one thing is for certain: We all previously underestimated the importance of our social circles. Something as simple as going out for coffee with a friend or stopping in the hallway to catch up with someone has become something we miss and regret ever having taken it for granted.