Apr 042017
 

535th Monthly Meeting

April 21st, 2017

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station 

All monthly meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in insects, please join us!
Members may bring exhibits for show-and-tell. If you have photos, video, or other media to share, please email the society at ctentsoc@gmail.com.

Please join us on Facebook, for additional content.

Dinner:

  • 6:00 p.m. Potluck Dinner in the Donald F. Jones Auditorium.
  • Please bring a dish to share, along with your friends and family.
  • If you have any entomological items you would like to donate to the annual silent auction, please bring them as well!

Meeting:

 

Speaker: Charley Eiseman

Title: Life in a Leaf: The Astonishing Diversity of Leafminers

Abstract: Leafminers are larvae of moths, beetles, flies, and sawflies that live between the epidermal layers of leaves, producing characteristic patterns as they feed. Most are highly host-specific, and it is often possible to identify them to species based entirely on the appearance of the leaf mine and the identity of the host plant. Charley’s presentation will give an overview of the various groups of leaf-mining insects, including macro photographs of the larvae, their mines, and the tiny (but often beautiful) adults.

BIO: Charley Eiseman is a freelance naturalist, conducting plant and wildlife surveys for various nonprofits, state agencies, and universities throughout New England. He has also co-taught an “Ecology Through Animal Tracking” course in various incarnations since 2004. He holds an MS from the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management from the University of Massachusetts. Charley is the lead author of the award-winning field guide, Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates (Stackpole Books, 2010), and also writes an insect-themed blog called “BugTracks.”

For over five years, Charley Eiseman has been working on a book that will cover the natural history of all known North American leafminers, including keys to the mines found on each host plant. In the process he has published 14 papers describing new species of leafminers or documenting previously unknown life histories of described species, and several more are in review or in preparation.

For more information, visit www.charleyeiseman.com.

Mar 192017
 

534th Monthly Meeting

March 24th, 2017

University of Connecticut

 

All monthly meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in insects, please join us!
Members may bring exhibits for show-and-tell. If you have photos, video, or other media to share, please email the society at ctentsoc@gmail.com.

Please join us on Facebook, for additional content.

Dinner:

  • 6:00 p.m. at Willington Pizza, 25 River Road (Route 32), Willington, CT 06279

Meeting:

  • 7:30pm, University of Connecticut
  • Biology and Physics Building room 130, 91 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269
  • Please park in the lot near the visitor’s center (across from North Garage). Parking on the road, or in student lots near the dorms, risks getting a ticket.

 

STUDENT TALK COMPETITION

This month we will hear from students on their work with arthropods, from mites to moths. The current speaker list is as follows:

 

5-MINUTE TALKS

 

Christian Connors
University of Connecticut, undergraduate
Hitchhiker’s guide to phoretic mites: identification of insect-phoretic mites using DNA barcodes

Nicholas Russo
University of Connecticut, undergraduate
Avian spring migration as a dispersal mechanism for the hemlock woolly adelgid

Katherine Taylor
University of Connecticut, graduate student
Faking death: an adaptive strategy?

 

10-MINUTE TALKS

 

Matthew Nochisaki
High school student
Coevolution of angiosperms such as orchid flowers and moths in the Sphingidae family ensuring pollination and ecological success

Tanner Matson
University of Connecticut, graduate student
Unraveling chronic confusion: a revision of North American Lacturidae (Lepidoptera: Zygaenoidea)

Diler Haji
University of Connecticut, undergraduate
Growth and developmental timing in the evolution of periodical cicada life cycles

 

 

 

Feb 072017
 

533rd Monthly Meeting

February 17th, 2017

Yale University

 

All monthly meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in insects, please join us!
Members may bring exhibits for show-and-tell. If you have photos, video, or other media to share, please email the society at ctentsoc@gmail.com.

Please join us on Facebook, for additional content.

 

Meeting:

  • 7:30pm, Yale University
  • Environmental Science Center, Room 110, 21 Sachem St, New Haven CT 06511 (map)
  • Parking in Lot 16 (behind the Peabody Museum) may be closed due to construction 
  • Free parking is available in the Peabody Museum Visitor Parking Lot, located next to 221 Whitney Avenue (Yale Lot 41)

Dinner:

  • 6:30pm, Pizza will be provided in Room 110 – Environmental Science Center
  • A donation of $5 per person will be appreciated

 

Speaker: Dr. Richard Casagrande, University of Rhode Island

Title: “But What About the Cane Toad?” A discussion about opportunities, limitations, and misconceptions of modern Classical Biological Control.

Abstract: Harebrained attempts at biological control, evolving ecological awareness, and regulatory gridlock combine to make life interesting for current biocontrol scientists. We’ll discuss these issues and the influence of a century’s mistakes and successes on our current biocontrol programs, focusing on lily leaf beetle, swallow-worts and Phragmites australis.

Bio: After completing his MS and PhD degrees in entomology at Michigan State, Dr. Casagrande joined the faculty at URI in 1976 where he continues to enjoy a 3-way appointment.  His teaching has included IPM, biocontrol, and cultural entomology. He also serves as IPM Coordinator for the state and directs the biocontrol research and outreach program.  He authored and chaired the Northeast regional biocontrol project (presently NE1332) and worked on several biocontrol projects, most notably birch leafminer, hemlock adelgid, lily leaf beetle, swallow-wort, and Phragmites australis. He was honored by the Entomology Society for his work in IPM in 2000, given the L.O. Howard Distinguished Achievement Award in 2014 and most importantly – garnered several awards for catching large striped bass, bluefish, and flounder over the years.

Jan 052017
 

532nd Monthly Meeting

January 20th, 2017

University of Connecticut

All monthly meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in insects, please join us! Members may bring exhibits for show-and-tell. If you have photos, video, or other media to share, please email the society at ctentsoc@gmail.com.

Please join us on Facebook for additional content.

Meeting:

  • 7:30pm, University of Connecticut
  • Biology and Physics Building room 130, 91 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269
  • Please park in the lot near the visitor’s center (across from North Garage). Parking on the road, or in student lots near the dorms, risks getting a ticket.

Dinner:

  • 6:00 p.m. at Willington Pizza, 25 River Road (Route 32), Willington, CT 06279

 

Speaker: Dr. Anne Averill, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Title: Pollinator Health in Agricultural Systems

Bio: Dr. Averill completed her undergraduate studies at Smith College, her PhD in Entomology at UMass-Amherst, and Post-Doctoral work at Cornell University.  Currently, she is a professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass-Amherst where she is co-Director and Honors advisor for the Environmental Science undergraduate major and where she conducts research on insect behavior, ecology, and management in cranberry. Her current studies focus largely on native pollinator health and diversity, with much of the work on the impacts of pathogens, pollen availability, and pesticides on bumble bees in agroecosystems.

Nov 042016
 

531st Monthly Meeting

November 18th, 2016

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

All monthly meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in insects, please join us! Members may bring exhibits for show-and-tell. If you have photos, video, or other media to share, please email the society at ctentsoc@gmail.com.

Please join us on Facebook for additional content.

Meeting:

  • 7:30pm, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES)
  • Donald F. Jones Auditorium, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT 06504
  • Driving directions to CAES are here: http://www.ct.gov/caes/cwp/view.asp?a=2812&Q=344992
  • Light refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the meeting

Dinner:

 

Speaker: Dr. Philip Armstrong, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Title: Mosquitoes and Zika Virus: Assessing the Threat

Abstract: Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and remained an obscure mosquito-borne virus until it spread to Brazil in 2015 where it infected unprecedented numbers of people and caused thousands of birth defects. The virus has subsequently spread to other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, and is expected to infect millions of people within this region.  In this presentation, Dr. Armstrong will give historical background about the global expansion of Zika virus, review the mosquito biology and transmission cycle of this virus, and discuss the potential for localized transmission in the U.S.

BIO: Dr. Armstrong received his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1991 and his doctoral degree at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1998. He joined the faculty at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in 2004 to participate in the statewide mosquito surveillance program and develop his own research program on mosquito-borne viruses.  His current research focuses on the molecular evolution and ecology of mosquito-borne viruses transmitted in northeastern US, including eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus.

Oct 152016
 

Connecticut Butterfly Association Fall Meeting

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

ctbutterfly.org

Meeting:
  • Saturday, October 22, 2016, 1:00-3:00 PM
  • Whitney Center, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT 06517-2749

Speaker: Rick Cech

Title: BUTTERFLY HABITS OF THE EAST COAST
Many of our rarest and most sought-after butterfly species rely for their survival on specialized and unusual habitats—along with a host of other valuable “habitat obligate” organisms, many of which are threatened or endangered. An array of rich and unique habitats can be found along the East Coast, often in little-known niches. Come see butterfly naturalist and writer Rick Cech describe the intriguing ecological forces that shape these exotic communities, where many of our most exotic butterflies dwell.
BIO:
An active field naturalist since childhood, also now a natural history author and photographer, Rick Cech is an affiliate curator at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in Entomology. He is the principal author and photographer of Butterflies of the East Coast: An Observer’s Guide (Princeton, 2005), and wrote “A Distributional Checklist of the Butterflies and Skippers of the New York City Area.” Rick co-authored the National Audubon Society Regional Guide to Florida. His recent works include editing and photography for the iApp “Audubon Butterflies – A Field Guide to North American Butterflies,” and development of the FoldingGuides regional butterfly series.
A life-long field observer, explorer and trip leader, Rick brings innovative perspectives to the study and appreciation of natural history. He played a formative role in originating the Sibley Guide series, as well as the National Audubon Society Interactive CD-ROM Guide to North American Birds. Rick’s photography is widely published, in articles and books (including more than 950 in both Butterflies of the East Coast and Audubon Butterflies) as well as in photo exhibits and displays. He has led nature trips since the early 1980s, and makes regular presentations to natural history and botanical organizations across the country.
Directions: From New Haven, take Whitney Avenue north approximately four miles and turn left on Putnam Avenue. Go approximately 0.7 miles and turn right on Leeder Hill Drive. Whitney Center is at 200 Leeder Hill Drive. From New Haven or Hartford via I-91, take Exit 6 to Middletown Avenue heading north. Turn left at Edwards Street or Willow Street. Turn right at Whitney Avenue, left on Putnam, then right on Leeder Hill as described above.
Oct 032016
 

530th Monthly Meeting

October 21st, 2016

Manchester Community College

All monthly meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in insects, please join us! Members may bring exhibits for show-and-tell. If you have photos, video, or other media to share, please email the society at ctentsoc@gmail.com.

Please join us on Facebook for additional content.

 

Meeting:

  • 7:30pm, Manchester Community College (MCC)
  • Great Path Academy 2nd floor, room GP203 – Community Commons
  • Driving directions to MCC are here: https://www.manchestercc.edu/about/maps-directions/driving-directions/
  • At the conclusion of the meeting, attendees are invited to an informal social hour at Brigette Zacharczenko’s house (Approx. 5 min. from MCC. Directions will be provided at meeting). Those interested are encouraged to bring their favorite fall beer or wine

Dinner:

  • 6:30pm, Pizza will be provided in room GP203 – Community Commons
  • A donation of $5 per person will be appreciated

 

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Graham, Eastern Connecticut State University

Title: Assembling the Mojave Desert arachnid fauna: Biogeographic insights from scorpions, tarantulas, and camel spiders

Abstract: The deserts of the North American Southwest are quickly emerging as a testing ground for assessing the capability of modern science to reconstruct the history and assembly of entire biotas. A complex tectonic history has produced a diverse arthropod fauna that radiated and adapted to the region’s extreme climates and changing landscapes.  In particular, arid-adapted arachnids exhibit striking levels of diversity and endemism in the southwestern deserts, yet many groups are still poorly understood.  Dr. Graham seeks to close this knowledge gap by integrating molecular (DNA) approaches, predictive (climatic) modeling, and morphology.  His talk will outline our understanding of the assembly of the southwestern desert biota from the perspective of new data from giant hairy scorpions, tarantulas, and other arachnids.  Dr. Graham and his colleagues have discovered several ancient but cryptic lineages most likely generated as Neogene extensional tectonics and Pleistocene climate fluctuations repeatedly fragmented desert arachnid populations.  He proposes that the low dispersal capabilities of many arachnids make them especially vulnerable to landscape perturbations and climate change, and thus ideal organisms for investigating the history and future of biodiversity in the North American arid lands.

BIO: Dr. Matthew Graham is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU). Dr. Graham began studying scorpions as an undergraduate at Marshall University where he holds a BS and MS in Biology.  He continued his work on scorpions while completing a PhD in Biology at the University of Nevada, in Las Vegas.  Dr. Graham’s doctoral research focused on understanding how desert scorpions responded to historical changes in landscapes and climates.  He continues his research on desert scorpions at ECSU where he initiated a global field course on desert ecology and biogeography.  Dr. Graham joined the faculty at ECSU in August of 2013.

For a preview of Dr. Graham’s work and the creatures he works with, visit

https://scorpiophilia.wordpress.com/arthropod-photos/

and https://scorpiophilia.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

Sep 082016
 

The Connecticut Audubon Society, Center at Pomfret,  is looking for volunteers.

 

Citizen Science Volunteer Monitoring Program Fall 2016  

River Bio-assessment for Volunteers
Training Dates: (pick one)
Friday, September 9th, 9:00 a.m.-noon.
Saturday, September 10th, 9:00 a.m.-noon.

Did you know that aquatic insects are indicators of the health of streams?  Dragonflies and damselflies are among the many insects that spend most of their lives in water. Eggs are laid in streams where the tiny nymphs spend weeks to months eating and growing before transforming to their adult, flying stage. Come dressed for stream exploration; we’ll provide waders and nets and teach you how to net and identify aquatic insects. Our stream water quality data is shared with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, as well as, local conservation groups. Visit the DEEP website to view data from past years.

Training fee: $7 CAS members; $15 non-members.

Register with Paula Coughlin at pcoughlin@ctaubudon.org or by calling 860-928-4948.

Please call to register for one training session. Optional field work: Friday/Saturday mornings in September or October.

Sep 082016
 

529th Monthly Meeting

September 16th, 2016

University of Connecticut

All monthly meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in insects, please join us!
Members may bring exhibits for show-and-tell. If you have photos, video, or other media to share, please email the society at ctentsoc@gmail.com.

Join us on Facebook for additional content.

Meeting:

  • 7:30pm, University of Connecticut
  • Biology and Physics Building room 130, 91 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269
  • Please park in the lot near the visitor’s center (across from North Garage). Parking on the road, or in student lots near the dorms, risks getting a ticket.

Dinner:

  • 6:00pm at Willington Pizza, 25 River Road (Route 32), Willington, CT 06279

 

Speaker: Brigette Zacharczenko

Title: The systematics of Acronictinae and the evolution of larval defenses in Acronicta

Summary: While the end is in sight, the dissertation isn’t quite fully cooked – so you will be treated to a summary and teasers for Brigette’s final dissertation defense, anticipated in November of this year.  She will discuss the process of her research on Lepidoptera, as well as some of the results. The journey will be filled with humor, hard work, and an appreciation for how everything takes longer than you think. And hopefully, you’ll feel enticed to attend the real thing!

BIO: Former CES president Brigette Zacharczenko has a BSc from McGill University, and is nearly done with her PhD at UConn under the tutelage of Dr. Wagner. She studies the evolution of larval defenses in the moth genus Acronicta, the Dagger Moths. Her research has focused on the construction of molecular phylogenies, morphological analyses, behavioral experiments, and the utilization of specimen collections. She is also known for her extracurricular hobbies: powerlifting, sewing, and her fiancé Dillon. She is on the job hunt in order to continue her professional and personal life here in CT, and hopes to remain an active member in the society.

May 302016
 

Silk-Moth-800x500 The 2016 Connecticut State BioBlitz (3-4 June 2016) will be the largest BioBlitz event in the United States, out of more than 200 planned across the country to celebrate the centenary birthday of the National Park Service.

Location: Two Rivers Magnet School in East Hartford. Map:
https://www.google.com/…/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e6539b…

Overall BioBlitz information: http://ctbioblitz.uconn.edu/

Below are top reasons why the Two Rivers Magnet School is the right destination for your friends and family on Saturday June 4th 2016:

1. Peruse a huge live insect zoo including giant beetles, praying mantes and caterpillars. The Caterpillar Lab will offer hands-on activities for kids – they can touch and hold the menagerie of harmless caterpillars.
2. Admire impressive museum specimens of butterflies and more – two of Connecticut’s most spectacular collections will be on display.
3. Explore a giant floor map of Connecticut and an assortment of other exhibits and activities. The event is family friendly with hands-on activities and crafts for kids.
4. Learn about the lives of northeastern birds of prey from Horizon Wings Raptor Rehab and about CT reptiles and amphibians from Riverside Reptiles – live animals will be present, including an eagle!
5. Ever wondered what science looks like in action? Interact with some of the 180+ participating scientists while they work towards identifying as many species as humanly possible within the 24hr window. Our scientists will represent all branches of the tree of life, and will be coming from 10 states and provinces. Connecticut will enjoy the greatest amassing of taxonomic expertise that has occurred in the State’s history.
6. Learn about eating insects from the world expert on the topic, Louis Sorkin – and try samples! Or learn about butterflies in your backyard from Victor DeMasi. Both presentations are part of our speaker series.
7. Go on a nature walk or a mini-safari with an expert to learn about birds, plants, mushrooms and insects that live near you. Accessible to all ages.
8. Learn about the thousands of microbes that live with, within, and around us through an interactive display. Our microbiology experts have collected samples from the Two Rivers school grounds, the Connecticut River, Mark Twain’s Park River, various types of compost, and other places. Using cutting-edge DNA methods they have determined how many microbe species live there. How many? We don’t know yet – it will be revealed at BioBlitz on Saturday.
9. Contribute your own observations to our scientific efforts via iNaturalist. Learn about iNaturalist from its creator Ken-Ichi Ueda, who will be giving a hands-on workshop at 11am. iNaturalist just might be your next favorite hobby.
10. Participate in a rapid stream bioassessment to find out how healthy the Hockanum River is.
11. Was there ever a connection between Hartford’s own Mark Twain and Charles Darwin? Find out at a presentation given by a Mark Twain House historian at 11am. And if you are lucky, you may bump into Charles Darwin himself!
12. Get half-priced family tickets to the Connecticut Science Center (just across the river from Two Rivers) for even more amazing displays and activities. Tickets available to the first 500 families to attend the BioBlitz. Shuttles will be running between the two venues.
13. Admire the findings of the State’s top mushroom experts from the CT Valley Mycological Society. You will be amazed at the diversity that can be found in urban and suburban areas!
14. Buy a book and get it signed by the author – at least nine authors will be selling and autographing copies of their field guides and other nature-inspired literature.
15. More than 20 additional exhibitors (whose underpinnings are rooted in the State’s plants and wildlife) will be assembled in the gymnasium for public visitation from 10am to 3pm.