Department of
Entomology

Entomology News

Doctoral Candidate Scott Clem Awarded Predoctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to Scott Clem, doctoral candidate in Dr. Alex Harmon-Threatt's lab, for being awarded the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Education and Workforce Development (EWD) Predoctoral Fellowship for $119,990 (award no. 2019-67011-29504). This is a two-year fellowship coupled with funding to continue his research on hover fly (Diptera: Syrphidae) migration and other winter survival strategies.

Will more rain mean more risk of mosquito-borne disease?

The risk of some mosquito-borne diseases can go up with increased rainfall, entomology professor Brian Allan said. However, excess rainfall can reduce the number of mosquitos that hatch in stormwater catch basins, such as the Culex species that carry West Nile virus.

Introducing Beescape: a new online tool and community to support bees

A new online tool and community, called Beescape, enables beekeepers, or anyone interested in bees, to understand the specific stressors to which the bees in their managed hives, home gardens or farms are exposed, according to researchers at the University of Illinois, through a collaboration with Penn State University.

Researchers: Pesticides influence ground-nesting bee development and longevity

Study explores little-understood effects of soil exposure on subterranean colonies. Results from a new study suggest that bees might be exposed to pesticides in more ways than we thought, and it could impact their development significantly.

Termite threats on the big screen at Insect Fear Film Festival

This soldier termite and related species are called nasutes. Their mouthparts are fused to form a projection that squirts defensive chemicals to repel marauders attacking the colony, in contrast to other types of termites that have long, swordlike mandibles. Termites are the theme of the annual Insect Fear Film Festival on Feb. 23.

A new partnership for the bees: Illinois teams with Anheuser-Busch for bee research

There’s plenty of sweet irony in a new partnership between Illinois and St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, LLC, that will raise money for bee research at the university.

Anheuser-Busch has pledged $5,000 to The Healthy Bee Fund at Illinois. In addition, the company will donate $1 to the fund for every case sold of b, a new alcoholic honey beverage scheduled to go on sale in the Northeast U.S. in March.

Dracula ants possess fastest known animal appendage: the snap-jaw

The mandibles of the Dracula ant, Mystrium camillae, are the fastest known moving animal appendages, snapping shut at speeds of up to 90 meters per second.

Caterpillar, fungus in cahoots to threaten fruit, nut crops

New research reveals that Aspergillus flavus, a fungus that produces carcinogenic aflatoxins that can contaminate seeds and nuts, has a multilegged partner in crime: the navel orangeworm caterpillar, which targets some of the same nut and fruit orchards afflicted by the fungus. Scientists report in the Journal of Chemical Ecology that the two pests work in concert to overcome plant defenses and resist pesticides.

Berenbaum named PNAS editor-in-chief

Entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum has been appointed editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Study finds potential benefits of wildlife-livestock coexistence in East Africa

A study of 3,588 square kilometers of privately owned land in central Kenya offers evidence that humans and their livestock can, in the right circumstances, share territory with zebras, giraffes, elephants and other wild mammals – to the benefit of all.