Dr. Art Evans entomologist and WCVE producer Steve Clark discuss the pleasures of teaching entomology. The familiar, yet bizarre nature of insects makes them the perfect ambassadors for environmental awareness and a compelling introduction to a myriad of biological processes including evolution, diversification, adaptation, development, reproduction, cooperation, and competition. Throughout his years as an educator, Art has noted that there are two kinds of people--those that love insects and those that don’t yet know they love insects!
What's Bugging You?
Dr. Arthur V. Evans teams up with WCVE Public Radio producer Steve Clark for a weekly feature, “What’s Bugging You?,” which airs during NPR’s Morning Edition. The program takes its name from another of Evans’ books “What’s Bugging You – A Fond Look at the Animals We Love to Hate.”
Tune-in each Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. or at 5:44 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE, Richmond’s Public Radio station.
Dr. Art Evans, entomologist and WCVE producer Steve Clark discuss a recently published scientific study in Israel that reveals the gruesome feeding habits of larval ground beetles in the genus Epomis. Using their mouthparts and antennae as lures, hungry larvae draw the attention of hungry and much larger frogs and toads with often deadly results.
To read the original research and to see more photos visit here.
Dr. Art Evans and WCVE producer Steve Clark discuss some of the efforts of American entomologists in southwestern China and northern Vietnam to better understand the emerald ash borer and its closest relatives on their own turf.
Emerald ash borer is a very serious threat to ash trees growing along city streets and in woodlands across much of North America. You can see other woodboring beetles collected in Vietnam here.
Dr. Art Evans, entomologist and WCVE producer Steve Clark explore the soft under belly of one of the world’s most primitive insects, silverfish. Clad in shiny scales, these shy, nocturnal omnivores live in pantries or under stones and bark; a few species are specialists and prefer to live among the hustle and bustle of ant and termite colonies. As household pests, silverfish are capable of causing extensive damage by feeding on wallpaper paste, book bindings, paper products, and the starchy sizing of some fabrics.
Dr. Art Evans and Steve Clark discuss a chance encounter that Art had with a very rare robber fly that is new to the Virginia fauna, Orthogonis stygia.
This predatory species was first described from two specimens collected in North Carolina and Mississippi. Since then, specimens of this exceptionally rare species have been found in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Be sure to read Art's blog on this species here.
The infusion of moisture in late summer is a boon for mosquito populations. Clouds of whining female mosquitoes are drawing blood meals from birds, people, and pets. What to do? Blanket spraying of vegetation kills not only mosquitoes, but other insects, too, including predators, parasites, and pollinators. The most effective mosquito preventative is to destroy their breeding sites, which includes anything that holds 1/2 inch or more of water. Also avoid peak adult mosquito activity by not going out at dusk and dawn.
Late summer and fall are when many species reach their zenith and spin conspicuous webs across wooded paths, window sills, and hedges. As predators, spiders are an important part of the ecosystem and help keep insect populations in check. Join producer Steve Clark and Dr. Art Evans to find out more about these amazing, yet often misunderstood animals.
WCVE Public Radio producer Steve Clark and entomologist Dr. Art Evans talked with best selling author Amy Stewart about her latest book Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects. Her most recent effort details some 100 “bug” culprits that have or have had the most dangerous effects on humans.
Casey’s June beetle, Dinacoma caseyi Blaisdell, is known from only two populations in the southern part of Palm Springs, California. Its remaining habitat of roughly 600 acres consists of approximately nine fragments and is rapidly declining. Adults emerge from the ground to mate in late March through June and reach their peak in mid to late May. The females have reduced wings and are flightless, while the males are fully-winged and capable of flight. Little is known of their life cycle or food plant preferences.
One of the largest wasps now found throughout Eastern North America, the European Hornet first arrived around 1840.
The hornets prefer to build their papery nest in a protected area such as under steps or inside tree holes. They will strip away bark from lilacs and other shrubs to use as building material, which they chew to make the paper nest.
The young of these insect predators are fed mostly a diet of pre-chewed flies and other insects, usually captured on the wing. Adult wasps prefer sap or nectar.