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:…/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e6539b…

Overall BioBlitz information:

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.

May 022016

Details of our Sessions Woods “Field Day” meeting on Saturday, May 21st.

3:00 – Mike Thomas and I (Stan Malcolm) will present nature photography basics and insect macrophotography specifics. Should last about an hour, after which we’ll be available to coach anyone wishing to practice outdoors – or see how we use our equipment. I’d like to have a rough count of who will be attending this portion of the event… and maybe a sense of your macrophotography experience level: novice, some experience, etc. Please send me a note at (Coming soon, a web place where we can share photos, get constructive critiques, and participate in discussions of various insect/nature photography topics. Stay tuned for more info.)

3:00 – If you’re not attending the macrophotography presentation, feel free to begin collecting outdoors. Collecting will continue until 6:00 P.M. when we’ll take a break for…

6:00 – Pot Luck Dinner. Please bring items that can be kept hot, or cold, or which would remain safe at room temperature. I’m checking on the ability to store foods cold, or warm them at dinner time – but suspect that Session’s Woods capacity for storage and warming will be limited so if possible, plan your own means (e.g., ice packs and coolers). For the sake of all with dietary restrictions, please share a list of ingredients beside your dish. As a state facility, alcoholic beverages are not allowed.

7:00 – Brief business meeting and presentation by Laura Saucier: She will present “Updates on the Puritan Tiger Beetle and State Endangered Species List.”

8:00 – Set up for light trapping. Dave Wagner promised to bring one light trap set up. Not a bad thing for others to bring equipment too.

12:00 – Packed up, cleaned up, done and gone. Drive safely; watch for wildlife.

SPECIMENS FOR DEEP: I’ve promised Laura that we would provide samples of insects collected at Sessions Woods for their use in displays. To make this happen, we could use the donation of a display drawer or two and, ideally, someone to coordinate gathering samples from members, and assuring that they’re properly pinned and labeled. MAY I HAVE A VOLUNTEER OR TWO???

528th Monthly Meeting
Saturday, May 21st, 2016
Sessions Woods

Join us at Sessions Woods (341 Milford St., Burlington, CT) for our final meeting of the 2016-2017 season! The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) maintains the property for public access and education; you can find more information and directions here. During the afternoon, there will be an opportunity for instruction in macrophotography as well as daylight collecting. We will take a break from collection for a potluck around dusk; please bring a dish to share! For the evening presentation, Laura Saucier will speak on “Updates on the Puritan Tiger Beetle and State Endangered Species List.” After the presentation, members can stay and put out lights for night collection. Mothing has been a resounding success at Sessions Woods in past years. An approximate schedule for this year’s meeting is given below.


3pm – Indoor meeting

4pm – Outdoor collecting

6pm – Potluck dinner

7pm – Evening presentation

Until midnight: Light-trapping

Apr 042016
527th Monthly Meeting
Chasing Lepidoptera in Western North America from the Arctic to Arizona
Glenn Morrell
Join us April 15th for our annual potluck meeting and silent auction at the Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven! 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!
Time: Friday the 15th. Potluck begins at 6:00pm; business meeting starting at 7:30pm.
Location: Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), Jones Auditorium

Glenn Morrell’s presentation will highlight recent collecting adventures from the far northern reaches of the Canadian Arctic all the way to the Mexican border.  An upfront focus on the Beringian influence and collecting history of the remote Canadian Western Arctic will allow us to become more familiar with an area that is unknown to most of us.  The travelogue will then take us from the Yukon and Northwest Territories, over to Alaska, and then south through British Columbia, the eastern Oregon deserts, the Great Basin, southern California and finally Arizona where special emphasis will be placed on the spectacular neotropical species found in canyons just north of the Mexican border.

Citheronia splendens

Truly about chasing lepidoptera, this fast paced presentation will bring to life the travel experience to these locations and the hardships, weather, wildlife and fun encountered along the way.  Hundreds of lepidoptera are documented from dull and drab Arctic moths and butterflies to stunning Saturniids on the Mexican border.




Glenn MorrellBio

Ever since a 5th grade science project rearing and watching the metamorphosis of Monarch butterflies, Glenn Morrell has been actively observing and collecting lepidoptera.  This childhood hobby might have waned, however, when satisfying a Bates College Department of Biology senior thesis requirement, Glenn selected a fun lepidoptera related project.  The research for his senior thesis on the “Populations of Saturniid Moths” in New England took him to the major collections at Harvard, Yale and UConn, introducing him to many other collectors and professionals.  Most importantly, this introduced him to the Connecticut Entomological Society where Glenn served two terms as secretary from 1987 to 1988, was Vice President in 1990 and President in 1991. In 1986 a lifelong friendship was formed when Glenn met Dr. Lars Crabo at a Connecticut Entomological Society meeting.  This friendship afforded Glenn opportunities to accompany Lars on almost two dozen collecting trips including many to the Arctic and numerous western North American mountain and alpine habitats.

After completing his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at Bates College, Glenn’s first professional position was in Laboratory Data Process at Hartford Hospital.  Since then he has completed a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), a Master’s Certificate in Information Technology Project Management from Georgetown University, and is currently the Senior Clinical Business Architect for UnitedHealthcare working out of his home office in northern Maine where he has resided since 2006.


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

IMG_0842-export-screen     IMG_0971-export-screen


Feb 172016

525th Monthly Meeting
February 19, 2016
University of Connecticut

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

Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in Room 154 of the Torrey Life Sciences lecture hall (the building to the east of our usual building).  Use the center entrances.


This month we will hear from students on their work with arthropods, from centipedes to hairstreaks. Please distribute our Student Program Flyer and make sure to invite people to attend! The current speaker list is as follows:


Miranda Squillace
University of Connecticut, undergraduate
Identifying the defense mechanisms of lacewings as it relates to ant predation

Ben Gagliardi
University of Connecticut, graduate student
Secrets of the canopy: non-nectar feeding and false rarity of hairstreak butterflies

Joe DeSisto
University of Connecticut, undergraduate
Appalachian Adventures with Centipedes

Rebecca Beilinson
Yale University, undergraduate
Developing Species Distribution Models for North American Dragonflies


Sabrina Couceiro
Eastern Connecticut State University, undergraduate

Ronald Kaiser
Eastern Connecticut State University, undergraduate

Matthew Nochisaki
High school student

Jan 282016
February 19th: UConn – Student Symposium
  • Student participants, please contact Melissa Bernardo (mbernardo “at” wesleyan “dot” edu) with your name, title, and talk duration. Participation limited to 4 talks each of 5 or 10 minutes.
March 25th: Yale – Aquatics Workshop
  • Steve Burian – “EPT (Mayflies, Stoneflies, Caddisflies) Taxonomy Workshop For Biomonitoring and Aquatic Biodiversity Surveys”
April 15th: Experiment Station – Annual Dinner Meeting
  • Speaker: Glenn Morrell
  • Title: “Chasing Lepidoptera in Western North America from the Arctic to Arizona.”
  • Auction
May 21st: Sessions Woods – Field Day Meeting
  • Saturday, starting roughly 3:00 P.M.; ending by midnight.
  • Insect Photography presentation and coaching
  • Outdoor daylight collecting
  • Dinner
  • Speaker: Laura Saucier – “Updates on Puritan Tiger Beetle and State Endangered Species List.
  • Light Trapping.
Jan 212016

524th Monthly Meeting
January 22nd, 2016
Yale University

Location: ESC Rm 110, 21 Sachem St, New Haven CT  06511 (map)

Dinner at 6:30 p.m. (pizza in meeting room), meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Erin Saupe, The Biogeography and Evolution of Spiders

Spiders provide an excellent window into understanding past terrestrial ecosystems because they are extremely diverse, occupy almost every environment and ecosystem on Earth, and have a very long history of occupation on land. Erin’s talk will review this history of their occupation of land, with particular focus on spiders preserved in amber from the Cretaceous to the Miocene. The study of fossil spiders often reveals interesting biogeographical patterns, which in turn provide insight into past evolutionary processes.

EE Saupe_2MB


Erin Saupe is a Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies Postdoctoral Fellow under the guidance of Dr. Derek Briggs. The goal of her research is to explore how life evolved on our dynamic planet, with emphasis on understanding how biogeographical processes impact macroevolution.

Nov 012015


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.


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


  • 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.
Oct 072015


October 16th, 2015

Wesleyan University
  • Dinner: 6:00 p.m. at Iguanas Ranas, 484 Main St, Middletown, CT 06459 (map)
  • Meeting: 7:30 p.m. at Wesleyan University, Shanklin Rm 201, 237 Church St, Middletown, CT 06459 (map)
I. Joseph Desisto
“Barberpole Grasshoppers, Blonde Tarantulas, and Other Delights from Arizona”
Joseph is a student at the University of Connecticut with a love for all things spineless, and a special interest in myriapods.

II. Katherine Taylor
“Lacewing Collecting in Oregon: Which, Where, and Why”
Katie is a UConn graduate student working with Charlie Henry.



III. Rob Clark
“Ants of the 2015 UConn Bioblitz”
Rob is a PhD candidate from Wesleyan University studying the food web ecology of ants, particularly how ants act as both predators and mutualists of insect herbivores.


IV. Ray Simpson
“2015 Field Collecting Season”
Ray is a fish phylogeneticist and taxonomist with a passion for insects.  His focus is on Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) and also some families of beetle (cicindelids and cerambycids).


V. Dr. Leonard Munstermann
“Asian Tropics are Insect Heaven”
Leonard is a Senior Research Scientist at the Yale School of Public Health and Head Curator of Entomology at the Yale Peabody Museum.


All monthly meetings are fee and open to the public, and members may bring exhibits for show-and-tell. If you have photos, video, or other media to share, please email the society. 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.