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Posts Tagged: Larry Godfrey

Why Flies Are Fantastic

You want to know why flies are fantastic?

They are, you know. Just ask Martin Hauser of the Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

He'll discuss "Why Flies Are Fantastic" at the Northern California Entomology Society meeting, set from 9:15 to 3 p.m.  Thursday, Nov. 3 in the conference room of the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District, 155 Mason Circle, Concord.

Hauser will speak at 11 a.m.

The event, open to club members and their guests, begins at 9:15 a.m. with registration and coffee.  Five speakers, including Hauser, are booked on the agenda.

Bob Dowell of CDFA’s Plant-Integrated Pest Control will speak at 9:30 a.m. on the "Distribution, Phenology, Quarantine and Threat of Cherry Worm Fruit Flies in California,” followed at 10:15 a.m. by John Chitambar of the CDFA Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch. Chitambar, a nematologist, will discuss “Nematodes that Cause Economic Losses to Plants and Animals."

The schedule also includes the annual business meeting at 11:45 a.m., and a catered lunch at noon by Kinder’s.

The afternoon speakers: Curtis Takahashi of CDFA’s Integrated Pest Control, discussing “Control of Newly Arrived Exotic Wood Borers” at 1:15 p.m., and Larry Godfrey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, who will zero in on "Improved Management of Cotton Aphids in Cotton and Citrus: Importance of Overwintering Populations in Pomegranates" at 2 p.m.

The Northern California Entomology Society is comprised of university faculty, researchers, pest abatement professionals, students and other interested persons. Current president is Leann Horning, an ag technician with the CDFA’s Biocontrol Program. Members will elect new officers--president and vice president-elect--during the business session.

The society meets three times a year: the first Thursday in February, usually in Sacramento; the first Thursday in May, at UC Davis; and the first Thursday in November in the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District conference room, Concord. Membership dues are $10 year.

Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty serves as the secretary-treasurer. For further information, contact Mussen at ecmussen@ucdavis.edu or telephone him at (530) 752-0472.

Tachinid fly (Peleteria species) on lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Tachinid fly (Peleteria species) on lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Tachinid fly (Peleteria species) on lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM

BYOB Doesn't Mean What You Think

BYOB doesn't mean what you think it does.

Ask any entomology student and it means "Bring Your Own Bug."

And that's exactly what the UC Davis Linnaean Team did this morning during an interview with the TV anchors of Good Day Sacramento.

By request, the team members brought along their favorite bugs: Madagascar hissing cockroaches (see hisser at right) and assorted walking sticks, all from the Bohart Museum of Entomology; and soapberry bugs from professor Sharon Lawler's lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology.

The TV station labeled the event "a bug invasion."

And indeed it was.

Extension entomologist Larry Godfrey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty coaches the team, which includes graduate students Andrew Merwin (who studies with major professor Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology), Meredith Cenzer (major professor Louie Yang), Matan Shelomi (major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology) and prospective graduate student Ralph Washington, who received his bachelor's degree in entomology from UC Davis in 2010.

They competed last December in the national Linnaean Games, a college-bowl type competition that's a traditional part of the Entomological Society of America's annual meeting. Teams answer questions about insects and entomologists and compete for the championship. Ohio State University won the 2010 championship, defeating the University of Nebraska.

But, back to the bugs at the TV station...

Godfrey quizzed the anchors on their knowledge of insects. Each time an anchor answered a question incorrectly, he received temporary custody of a bug.

The final score: Bugs 3; Anchors, 0.

The questions:

Name the title of the Robert Frost poem that includes this line: “An ant on a table cloth ran into a dormant moth of many times his size.”

No, not "Ants in Your Pants." The answer: “Departmental.”

Another question: “What insect was used as a symbol for the film, The Silence of the Lambs, and what is unusual about the insect’s food habits?”


"No, little more detail, little more detail,” Godfrey coaxed. The answer. “Death’s-Head Hawkmoth” and it raids bee hives (Apis mellifera) for the honey.

The third question dealt with the vedalia beetle: “Where was the vedalia beetle released for the control of cottony cushion scale and what industry did it save?”

“The Southeast" and "Cotton"? No.

“It was released in California," Godfrey said, "and it saved the citrus industry."

The UC Davis team now heads to the next competition, the Linnaean Games at the ESA Pacific Branch meeting, set March 27-30 in Hawaii. Each ESA branch can send two teams to the nationals. Reno is hosting the ESA's 59th annual meeting Nov. 13-16.

Meanwhile, the Bohart Museum should be drawing lots of visitors.  It's located at 1124 Academic Surge on California Drive, UC Davis. Admission is free. Visiting hours: Mondays through Thursdays. Times: 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m.

Pop quiz: How many bugs at the Bohart? More than 7 million specimens. Plus, there's the "live petting zoo" where you can touch the hissers and walking sticks...including the ones on the TV show...

Bugs R Us
Bugs R Us

UC DAVIS Department of Entomology faculty member Larry Godfrey (right) answers questions about bugs. Behind him are Meredith Cenzer and Matan Shelomi. (Photo of Good Day Sacramento TV screen by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

About That Insect...
About That Insect...

TV ANCHOR Mark Mathias (left) quizzes Ralph Washington (right) about Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Next to him is Andrew Merwin. (Photo of Good Day Sacramento TV screen by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Distinguished Service, Distinguished Awards

Excellent work!

We're glad to see that three noted entomologists at the University of California, Davis, received distinguished awards in their fields at the 94th annual meeting of the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America (PBESA) on April 13 in Boise, Idaho.

Michael Parrella (top photo),  professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, won the Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology. Frank Zalom (middle photo)  professor of entomology, won the Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award. Larry Godfrey, (bottom photo) Cooperative Extension specialist in entomology, received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension.

This year marked one of the most celebrated years of professional recognition for UC Davis faculty at a PBESA meeting. (A fourth faculty member, chemical ecologist Walter Leal, received the prestigious C. W. Woodworth Award on Monday, April 12.)

As regional award winners,  Parrella, Zalom and Godfrey will now advance to the national ESA awards competition. The national meeting is set Dec. 12-15 in San Diego.

You'll often see Michael Parrella working on administrative duties, making presentations or conducting research;  you'll see Larry Godfrey chasing pests in the rice and cotton fields; and you'll see Frank Zalom working on scores of integrated pest management projects, from local to global. All three work closely with their graduate students, the next generation of entomologists.

Indeed, their accomplishments could fill multiple books.

You can read more about their accomplishments on the UC Davis Department of Entomology Web site.

Just a few of the comments they received:

Michael Parrella
“In his 30-year career, Dr. Parrella has developed an internationally recognized program focused on advancing integrated pest management and biological control for the floriculture and nursery industry,” said James Carey, professor of entomology at UC Davis and chair of the department’s awards committee.

“This industry, once dominated by chemical control strategies, now regularly uses the tenets of IPM, and many growers routinely use biological control,” said Carey, who nominated Parrella for the award.  “His training of graduate students and postdoctoral scientists and the extraordinary effort to translate research into practice puts Dr. Parrella in a class by himself.  He has accomplished this while shouldering an enormous administrative load.”

Larry Godfrey
He focuses his program on the IPM of insect and mite pests of field crops and vegetable crops, particularly pests of cotton and rice. His work extends globally. “Given the diversity of agriculture in California, this is a vast undertaking and Dr. Godfrey has made significant contributions in approximately 15 different crops during his 19-year tenure in this position,” said Parrella, who nominated him for the award. “This incredible diversity of effort and accomplishment puts Dr. Godfrey in a class by himself..."

Godfrey works closely with the county-based UC Cooperative Extension advisors and pest control advisors, industry representatives, and growers. His expertise includes sucking insects (cotton aphids and silverleaf whiteflies) on San Joaquin Valley cotton and pests of rice, including the rice water weevil.

Frank Zalom
IPM specialist Zalom is not only a professor of entomology but an Extension agronomist and an entomologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station. He's "one of the most influential scientists in the development and implementation of IPM policy and practices in the United States and the world, through his numerous and continuing contributions as a leader, director, and organizer,” said colleague Jocelyn Millar, an entomology professor at UC Riverside who nominated him for the award.

Zalom, who directed the statewide UC IPM Program for 16 years (among other responsibilities)  is known for his “truly extraordinary record of achievement and service to IPM extending over several decades,” Millar said.

A tip of the insect net--or a three-insect net salute--to Michael Parrella, Frank Zalom and Larry Godfrey.
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 6:19 PM

The Answers

Okay, what are the answers?

In a prior blog, we listed several questions asked at the Linnaean Games, a college-bowl type of quiz that’s a traditional part of the Entomological Society of America’s annual meeting. You have to know insect facts and figures and ESA history to win.

It's a fun game that draws entomologists and would-be entomologists from throughout the world. Professor Tom Turpin of Purdue, decked out in a tuxedo and a monarch butterfly bowtie, moderates the event and provides more humor than some of the late-night TV shows. This year's ESA meeting, the 56th annual, took place Nov. 16-19 in Reno.

Ready for the questions and answers?

Question: U.S. states have an official state insect.  List three states that do not have one.
Answer: Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and   Wyoming.  Source: See  http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Lists/state_insects.html

Question: What is the purpose of the process in folklore known as “Telling the Bees?”
Answer: To keep honey bees from leaving the hive when a bee keeper had died.

Question: Approximately how many beetle species have been described to date? Choices:
a. 50,000
c. 350,000
d. 500,000
e. 650,000
Answer: 350,000 (c)

Question: What is the character’s name on CSI – (Las Vegas) who is a forensic   entomologist?

Answer: Gil Grissom

Question: Imagine that you have wandered through an area where an egg mass of deer ticks has just hatched, and you find yourself in intimate association the  dozens of tick larvae.  What is your risk of getting Lyme disease?

Answer: None.  This would be their first blood meal, and Lyme disease is not transovarially transmitted.

The University of California, Riverside team won the competition, edging North Carolina State University.  The UC Riverside team included Jennifer Henke, Jason Mottern, Casey Butler and Rebeccah Waterworth.

UC Davis, our home team (Go Aggies!), also competed.  Hillary Thomas, Andrew Pederson, Dominic Reisig and Michael Branstetter gave it the ol' Aggie try but didn’t quite make the finals.  Next year! Their coach, Larry Godfrey, was on a University of Kentucky championship team.

What year was that? "Are you trying to make me feel really old?" Godfrey quipped. "Well, it was 1983 at the second annual Linnaean Games (second annual in the North Central Branch of ESA where it started). It was a few years before the other branches started this competition and several years before they did it at the national meeting.  Tom Turpin, who started this with another professor at Purdue (Rich Edwards) was my major professor for my M.S."

(Godfrey received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Purdue and his doctorate at the University of Kentucky.)

Ready for more questions?

Question: Name three insects of the five that are athletic team mascots at universities in the United States.
Bees, Black Flies, Hornets, Wasps, Yellowjackets

Question: What well known American poet wrote a poem entitled “The Bird to the Bees” that began with the lines “There is obviously a complete lack of understanding between the bee/ And me?"
Answer: Ogden Nash

In future columns, we'll take a look at some of the other questions and answers.

Meanwhile, check out the Smithsonian Magazine article on the University of Maryland team at the Linnaean Games. The article mentions that the students crammed for the Linnaean Games by poring over  "The Insects," written by UC Davis entomology professors Penny Gullan and Peter Cranston.

Pondering a Question
Pondering a Question

PONDERING A QUESTION are (from left) the UC Riverside team of Jennifer Henke, Casey Butler, Jason Mottern and Rebeccah Waterworth. UC Riverside won the Linnaean Games. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


WE WON!--Casey Butler exults as he breaks the dead heat, giving UC Riverside the win in the 2008 Linnaean Games. From left are Jennifer Henke, Casey Butler, Jason Mottern and Rebeccah Waterworth at the moment they realized they'd won. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

UC Davis Team
UC Davis Team

UC DAVIS TEAM--Pondering a question are (from left) Hillary Thomas, Andrew Pedersen, Dominic Reisig and Michael Branstetter. Pederson and Reisig study with their major professor Larry Godfrey, who was on the University of Kentucky championship team in 1983 that won the second annual Linnean Games. Thomas' major professor is Frank Zalom and Branstetter's major professor is Phil Ward. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008 at 6:26 PM
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