Stan Malcolm

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.

Mar 032016
 

526th Monthly Meeting
March 25th, 2016
Yale University

EPT (Mayflies, Stoneflies, Caddisflies) Taxonomy Workshop For Biomonitoring and Aquatic Biodiversity Surveys.

Location:  Osborn Memorial Labs (OML). The building is on the corner of Sachem and Prospect; enter through the right-hand door (parallel Sachem St. (map).  Parking in the outdoor lot near Ingall’s Rink or our usual lot near Klein Geology Lab.

Dinner will be provided free at 6:30 in OML (room 201), donations appreciated,

Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in room 201, followed by the workshop in room 212.

Dues: Be sure to bring your completed dues form if you haven’t already, so that you can get one of our new EntSoc stickers!

Steven K. Burian Ph.D, Professor of Biology, Southern Connecticut State University.

The workshop will have 2 parts. The first part will be an update on taxonomic changes that have occurred concerning the primary taxonomic reference (An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America, 4th ed. (2008)) concerning the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera keys to nymphs and larvae. The Second part of the workshop will be a hands-on opportunity for anyone who wants to examine representative families and genera of the immature mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies. In this part participants can select particular taxa from self-test study sets and spend some time learning to observe particularly difficult taxonomic characters or just see some unusual taxa. The focus of the hands-on session is to help people improve their confidence and competence in identifying families (and some genera) of these important aquatic orders.

DC 290 Capture Settings: test1 Date: Thu May 10 2012 Time: 21:38:44 Exposure Time: 1/30 sec. Resolution: 1792 x 1200 Compressed Zoom: 77mm White Balance: Auto Rotation: 0

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Nov 012015
 

523rd MONTHLY MEETING

November 20th, 2015
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 electronic media to share, please bring on a flash drive.
Those who have not yet paid 2015 dues will be able to do so at the meeting; the form and amount information are posted on our website membership page.

Cera-02-edit-crop     TreehopperNymph-Crop-Edit     DarkHelmet-Spaceballs

Speaker: Cera Fisher

Title: Gene expression, development, and the origin of the treehopper “helmet”

Abstract: Cryptic morphology is common among arthropods, but treehoppers are masters of masquerade.  The 3000-odd species of Membracidae have evolved a hypervariable pronotum or “helmet” that assumes a variety of forms mimicking leaf litter, caterpillar frass, plant thorns, and ants.  Leafhoppers (Cicadellidae) are the closest taxon without a helmet.  They diverged from treehoppers ca. 30 million years ago.  In leafhoppers, the pronotum retains the ancestral condition: short, collarlike, and flush with the mesonotum.  Despite hot debate in recent years, the developmental genetics and origin of the treehopper helmet remain a mystery.  Evidence from gene expression in treehoppers and RNA interference in other insects suggest that co-option of canonical wing-patterning genes may be involved, while evidence from anatomically similar beetle pronotal horns suggest the possibility of leg-patterning gene co-option.  To test these and other hypotheses, we apply an RNAseq approach to analysing gene expression in four tissues of nymphal Entylia carinata (Membracidae) and Homalodisca vitripennis (Cicadellidae).  We use these data to identify patterns of similarity and divergence of gene expression across tissue types, and to test whether the origin of the treehopper helmet was accompanied by a shift towards more leg-like or wing-like development, as predicted by the co-option hypothesis.

Bio: Cera Fisher is a Ph.D. student at UConn and loves True Bugs.  She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Arizona State University, where she studied the history of embryo research as a member of the Embryo Project.  In her transition from historian to scientist, she spent a salt-filled summer as an intern at the Marine Resources Center of the MBL in Woods Hole, MA.  Before arriving in Connecticut, she taught two semesters of Core Science at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.

Dinner

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

Meeting:

  • 7:30pm, University of Connecticut
  • Biology and Physics Building room 130, 91 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269 (map)
  • 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.
Sep 012015
 

521st MONTHLY MEETING

September 18th, 2015

Timema cristinae on Ceanothus VP

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.

Speaker: Tim Farkas

Title: Evolutionary ecology of Timema cristinae walking sticks: From communities to genomes and back again

Abstract: Timema cristinae stick insects, endemic to southern California chaparral, face an evolutionary dilemma. As dietary generalists, they eat both chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum: Rosaceae) and greenbark (Ceanothus spinosus: Rhamnaeceae), but a single camouflage strategy to these morphologically dissimilar plant species is impossible. To overcome this hurdle, they have evolved two distinct color-patterns, each conferring excellent camouflage on one of the plant species. But even for Timema the grass is always greener, so they disperse from their resident populations, and often end up on the wrong plants. This spells death for many of the unfortunate mismatches and their offspring, but the effects of their naive actions have dire consequences for the entire insect community. The plants themselves, of course, all are the happier for it.

Dinner

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

Meeting:

  • 7:30pm, University of Connecticut
  • Biology and Physics Building room 130, 91 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269 (map)
  • 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.

tim_timema

BIO:
Tim Farkas is a career student of ecology and evolutionary biology. A New York State native, he two degrees in Biology from Wesleyan University and one in Animal and Plant Sciences from the University of Sheffield in the UK. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Connecticut, where he studies community and evolutionary ecology with water fleas. He lives in Storrs, CT with his partner Sundari, and his favorite insects are Lycaenid butterflies of most varieties.