The American Arachnological Society is hosting a Virtual Conference Thursday June 24 – Thursday July 1. A Keynote address by Maydianne Andrade will open the meeting on the evening of the 24th. Program highlights include plenary talks by Mercedes Burns, Lauren Esposito, and Ivan Magalhães; oral and poster presentations; and a panel discussion and workshop on actions to dismantle racism and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in arachnology.

Abstract submission is now closed, but registration (only 20 USD) for the meeting and the associated events remains open until Monday June 14. Don’t miss this chance to participate in workshops on arachnid photography, collecting, and more, two movie nights (featuring Maratus and Sixteen Legs), a photography and art contest, and a virtual arachnid bioblitz!

Freely accessible events include a public talk about arachnids by Jillian Cowles, author of Amazing Arachnids (this talk will be livestreamed on youtube on Sunday June) and an Arachnid Q&A livestream with Isa Betancourt, host of The Bugscope.

Please contact meeting organizing committee member Catherine Scott if you have any questions, and follow the meeting on twitter at #Arachnids21 and @AAS_Arachnology.

Mating with castrated males induces females to oviposit

As I was picking up rotting fruit from the ground, a woman walked by and told me “pick the nice ones from the tree, you are going to get sick”. I was amused by her concern and explained that indeed I was looking for the rotting fruit. I was searching for the fly maggots that infest oranges and mangoes.

The Mexican fruit fly is a pest that can cause devastating effects for both small fruit farmers and exporters. Most people think of fruit flies as those pesky small flies around our ripening bananas, but those in reality are in the Family Drosophilidae, the vinegar fruit flies. The pests that I was looking for are called the true fruit flies and belong to the Family Tephritidae. The reason for this distinction is that the true fruit flies lay their eggs in fruits when they are still green on the tree, while the vinegar flies lay their eggs in ripening or rotting fruit. The eggs of the true fruit flies develop into maggots (larval flies) which eventually leave the fruit when it falls from the tree. Once on the ground, the maggots burrow into the soil and form a cocoon known as a pupa. Some species even have an unusual behaviour in which the maggots can coil and jump from the fruit into the soil. A few weeks later the adult emerges from the pupa; eats and matures sexually; mates; and then lay eggs into the fruit.

Some species from the Tephritidae are worldwide pests that cause huge losses in agriculture and commerce. Because no one wants to eat fruit with maggots inside, scientists have developed various control measures against these flies. One of the most successful and environmentally friendly means of control is called the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). This technique begins with mass-rearing of the insect in huge factories. Then the males are sterilized (so they cannot reproduce) and are released into the field where they will mate with the wild females. These mated females will not be able to lay fertile eggs in the fruit and so the number of flies in the next generation decreases. So SIT uses the pest as a type of its own “birth control” and reduces the use of harmful insecticides. By avoiding pesticide use, this method has the advantage of not targeting beneficial insects such as native bees.

For SIT to be effective, we need factory-produced males to be attractive to wild females and to successfully prevent the females from mating with other wild males that may be around. In my lab we are trying to understand how males that mate with females can cause the females to not mate with other males, and this has led us to studying the male ejaculate. It turns out that when males mate, they transfer to the female not just sperm, but a whole lot of other substances from the male accessory glands (MAGs). In many insects, these glands contain proteins that act as anti-aphrodisiacs, so that when females receive them after mating, they will not remate. The gland contents also stimulate the female of other species into laying more eggs. These are all very important behaviours when it comes to pests, as we do not want them to lay fertile eggs or mate again. The Mexican fruit fly has very complex male accessory glands, thus we are trying to find out what effect they have on the females. By injecting the contents of the MAGs into females, we observed that, contrary to what happens in other insects, they did not increase egg laying. So, the question still remains as to what the functions of Mexican fruit fly MAGs are.

Next, as the MAG contents do not increase egg laying, we wanted to find out about the whole ejaculate (MAG contents and sperm plus other components). Thus, we proceeded to cut the tip of the male penis (don´t worry they could still mate), so that they could not transfer any of their ejaculate. Surprisingly, we found that females that mated with these partially castrated males laid more eggs compared to virgin females that did not mate. This means that the internal and external aspects of the male copulatory courtship behavior that females receive during the mating is enough to stimulate them to lay eggs.

These results are important for two reasons: 1) studying MAGs can help us better develop control measures for these pests, with a better understanding on how mating affects female behaviour, and 2) we still know little about how various stimuli during mating affect female reproduction. As these are pests of economic importance to fruit growers, this knowledge will help us to further improve an environmentally friendly means of control.

–Diana Perez-Staples

 

Dear ESC members,

The ESC Science-Policy committee would like to draw your attention to the following call for expressions of interest for the Workshop on a Canadian Biodiversity Observation Network (CAN BON), due May 31st:

https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsDetail-DetailNouvelles_eng.asp?ID=1252

This call is for interested members to be involved in a federally-funded workshop. The main objectives of this workshop will be to:

  • obtain initial information on the state of biodiversity monitoring in Canada and the resources currently available to support monitoring
  • identify ways that a CAN BON could support local, regional, national and international efforts to conserve and restore biodiversity, including meeting Canada’s international commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity
  • initiate an inclusive approach to the design and implementation of a CAN BON drawing on perspectives from Indigenous peoples, scientists, government, private and public sectors—for Indigenous peoples, the expectation is to pursue a co-development approach to CAN BON that would allow equitable and meaningful participation of Indigenous peoples and a weaving of traditional knowledge and Western science
    Eligible groups include Canadian institutes, networks, or teams (including federal, provincial and territorial government groups) who are currently undertaking significant biodiversity monitoring activities and related research

Given the diversity and abundance of terrestrial invertebrate species in Canada, the ESC Science-Policy committee would like to encourage as many eligible groups as possible from ESC membership to apply to attend this workshop. Invertebrates are often neglected in monitoring efforts and resource allocation and, by having more representation at this workshop, there may be an opportunity to advocate for better taxonomic coverage and consideration in the future.

If you do choose to apply, please fill out this google form so we can keep track of the number of groups applying that could represent terrestrial invertebrates at this workshop. These results will be used for internal ESC purposes only. https://forms.gle/pYBX7z7xMJapSnQq7

2021 North American Forest Insect Work Conference

25-28 May 2021
Shaping Forests: Action in a Changing World

We are proud to announce that the final program has been published and is now available for your viewing pleasure!

Registration is now OPEN with early bird registration occurring until May 1!
Please visit the NAFIWC website to register!

Student Competition Judges: We are currently in search of nine judges for three sessions of student paper competitions all on Wednesday May 26th!
If you are able, please contact Kier Klepzig (kier.klepzig@jonesctr.org) or Rich Hofstetter (rich.hofstetter@nau.edu).

The NAFIWC 2021 Proceedings will be published as a USDA Forest Service General Technical Report, publicly available online. All presenters (talks and posters) are encouraged to submit a short synopsis of their work (1-3 pages maximum, including tables and figure as appropriate) for publication in the proceedings. Reports and abstracts will not be edited so please take care to provide a quality document. Please send submissions via email to Deepa Pureswaran at deepa.pureswaran@canada.ca by May 25. Submitted abstracts will be used lieu of synopses if not received by the deadline.

Check this site often, we will be announcing training sessions for virtual presentations for moderators and speakers soon!

The 1st International Electronic Conference on Entomology (IECE)

A free virtual event held from 1st–15th July 2021

This event will solely be an online proceeding that allows participation from all over the world, with no concerns of travel or related expenditures, while at the same time, allowing the rapid dissemination of global advances in the study of insects among the entire scientific community. All proceedings will be held online at https://sciforum.net/conference/IECE.

Through this event, we aim to cover the following topics:

  • Systematics and Morphology
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Biology, Behavior and Physiology
  • Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution
  • Pest Management
  • Forest and Urban Entomology
  • Medical and Veterinary Entomology
  • Apiculture and Pollinators

The conference is completely free of charge—both to attend and for scholars to upload and present their latest work on the conference platform.

IECE is a virtual conference sponsored by Insects (IF: 2.220, ISSN 2075-4450). Participation is free of charge for authors and attendees. The accepted papers will be published free of charge in the journal Proceedings of the conference itself.

IECE offers you the opportunity to participate in this international, scholarly conference without the concerns or expense of traveling—all you need is access to the Internet. We would like to invite you to “attend” this conference and present your latest work.

Abstracts (in English) should be submitted by 15 May 2021 online at http://www.sciforum.net/login.

For accepted abstracts, the proceedings paper (at least 3 pages and should not exceed 8 pages) can be submitted by 15 June 2021. The conference will be held on 1st–15th July 2021.

Paper Submission Guidelines

For information on the procedure for submission, peer review, revision, and acceptance of conference proceedings papers, please refer to the section ‘Instructions for Authors’.

Timelines

Abstract Deadline: 15/05/2021
Abstract Acceptance Notification Deadline: 25/05/2021
Proceedings Paper Deadline: 15/06/2021
Conference Date: 01/07/2021

We look forward to receiving your research papers and to welcoming you to the 1st International Electronic Conference on Entomology (IECE). Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Prof. Dr. Nickolas G. Kavallieratos

Chair of the 1st International Electronic Conference on Entomology

Conference Secretariat

M.Sc. Fancy Zhai
Ms. Barbara Wang
E-Mail: iece@mdpi.com

Mark your calendars for Black in Entomology Week, happening virtually from Feb. 22-26. This is an event dedicated to celebrating and supporting Black entomologists, organized by Maydianne Andrade, Swanne Gordon, Vik Iyengar, Shakara Maggitt, Michelle Samuel-Foo, Jessica Ware, and Natasha Young.

The goals of #BlackInEnto week include fostering community among Black entomologists, including students and enthusiasts, for Black entomologists to inspire others and share their passion for insects (and other terrestrial arthropods), and to create funding opportunities for Black entomology students.

In addition to daily content on the @BlackInEnto twitter feed, there is a fantastic schedule of live panel discussions and social events on zoom. Some highlights include:

 

Tuesday Feb. 23

A panel on Black in Entomology with organizers Maydianne Andrade, Michelle Samuel-Foo, and Jessica Ware. This discussion will focus on the challenges and successes of Black entomologists, and ways everyone can get involved in efforts to diversify entomology and support Black entomologists. Hosted by the California Academy of Sciences. Watch here.

Plus, discussions about Entomology Careers, Getting into Undergraduate Research, and a community building social for non-traditional students. Full schedule here.

 

Wednesday Feb. 24

Panel discussion: Contributions of Black Entomologists to Insect Sciences. Hosted by Texas A&M University. Register here.

 

Thursday Feb. 24       

Panel discussion on Colonialism in Entomology, and an Entomology Trivia Night. Full schedule here.

 

Full schedules and registration links, profiles of Black Entomologists, and more can be found on the Black in Ento website here.

Call for nominations: Societal Director (Second Vice-President), Director at Large

The Society will hold an online ballot to select candidates for a Societal Director and Director at Large. The selected candidates will then be presented as a slate for formal election by members at the Annual Members’ Meeting in fall 2021. Nominations for these positions must be signed by three active members of the Society and be received by the Secretary of the Entomological Society of Canada, Neil Holliday (ESCSecretary@esc-sec.ca), by 28 February 2021.

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee is developing strategies for the ESC to become a more inclusive and welcoming society. The committee is currently working on:

  1. Acknowledging the diversity within the society.
  2. Creating an EDI package for current and future Boards of Directors.
  3. Creating a list of resources for members to familiarize themselves with equity, diversity, and inclusion issues and concepts.
  4. Offering workshops for – a) board of directors and b) members, during the JAM.
  5. Having a guest speaker on EDI issues at the JAM.

Please, reach out to the EDI director Sebastian Ibarra sibarra@gov.pe.ca or committee chair Christine Noronha Christine.noronha@canada.ca  if you have any ideas for workshops, speakers, programs, resources, events, or other that you would like the ESC to implement.

By Amanda Roe (ESC Photo Contest Organizer) & Sean McCann (ESC Photo Contest Organizer-in-Training)

~~~~

We are pleased to announce the winners of the ESC Annual Photo Contest. This year saw 27 people participate in our annual ESC Photo Contest. They submitted a high number of entries – 99 to be precise. We wish to thank all the entrants for their fine collection of photos. 

We would also like to thank the anonymous judges who took the time to review and rank all the photo entries.  This is never an easy task with so many stunning pictures. The winners and honourable mentions listed below will have their photos grace the covers of The Canadian Entomologist and The Bulletin for the 2021 season.

 

First Place: Tim Haye

Caption: Samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus, parasitizing egg of Halyomorpha halys (Delémont, Switzerland)

 

Second Place: Mel Hart

Caption: Enallagma civile watching the foot traffic along a boardwalk at Riding Mountain National Park, MB

 

Third Place: Andrea Brauner

Caption: A presumed Acrididae grasshopper found hanging out in the backyard in Summerland, BC.

 

Entomologist In Action: Chris Ratzlaff

Caption: Collecting insects and setting up pan traps on the dry slopes of Galiano Island, British Columbia as part of the Biodiversity Galiano Project.

 

Honourable Mentions

Honourable Mention: Andreas Fischer

Caption: Subadult female black widow spider walking on her web. Tsawwassen, BC, Canada

 

Honourable Mention: Matt Muzzatti

Caption: Chiang Mai, Thailand. Two male rhinoceros beetles (Xylotrupes: Dynastinae) preparing to ‘fight.’ Prize fighters are bred and bets are placed on which male will throw the other off a cylindrical piece of wood.

 

Honourable Mention: Richard Yank

Chateauguay River, Sainte-Martine, Quebec

Caption: Portrait of a male American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana) photographed along the Châteauguay River at Ste-Martine, Québec on August 13, 2020.  A small population of this colourful damselfly was discovered at this site, well north of its usual range, several years ago.

 

Honourable Mention: Robyn DeYoung

Caption: Robber fly in the Subfamily Asilinae, photo taken at Trout Creek Point in Summerland, B.C.

 

Thanks to everyone who participated this year!