The Entomology Club in conjuction with the FAMU Center for Biological Control did a couple of presentations at the E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center in Freeport, Fl. This was our first visit to this wonderful center and I am looking forward to returning in the near future. We had about 80 guests at our presentations and took a few pictures you can view here. The turtle in the pictures is a rescue and is missing both front legs and a majority of its back legs and absolutely loves fresh cherries.
A fascinating story of survival and rescue comes from Australia in the form of a walking stick named the Lord Howe Stick Insect. Believed to have gone extinct over 80 years ago, a fragile outpost of the insects was discovered in 2001 and mating pairs taken to a zoo in 2003. Today plans are being made to return this large, (5 inch long adults), insect to the wild. Read more about their story on NPR here and watch a video of their hatching here.
An interesting book about vermiculture, worms and other things that wiggle LINK (10 MB PDF)
Dr. Walter Tschinkel is a world famous myrmecologist (a person who studies ants), at FSU. His 2006 book entitled "The Fire Ants" was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and is one of the most readable books on the subject available. The picture to the left was taken by a fellow professor at FSU named Charles Badland and shows the cast of a harvester ant mound similar to those found in our area. Another picture of a cast of a larger mound can be found here, These harvester ants are seed gatherers and are the only species of harvester ant east of the Mississippi. A graduate student at FSU named Christina Kwapich is involved in a long-term study of them that is expected to continue for quite some time.
The Mary Brogan Museum held its 2011 Community Day on Saturday, May 19, 2011. We brought out our insect friends and introduced them to over 500 people who visited out table. Angela was among the many who got to hold a wonderful tarantula we named Eva for the first time. For pictures visit here.
A presentation at the Havana Library held on May 17, 2011 for children who are home-schooled. A great group of enthusiastic children introduced to mealworms, a tarantula, a mantis and our hissing Madagascar cockroaches. Some pictures taken by the kids are here.
Here are some pictures of two new and wonderful people we have met during recent events. Christina is a graduate student at FSU working on harvester ants native to this region and the younger girl is Katia, a future entomologist. Recently we got together to feed the live insects at the Mary Brogan exhibit and took the pictures you can view here.
For interested students in the Environmental Entomology class who wish to learn a bit more about the various orders and how to pronounce them, download this 6MB PDF file. This file has a colored button above the name of each order that will play an audio clip of the correct pronunciation of the various insect orders as well as provide both pictures and information about them.
One of the more interesting aspects of attending FAMU and especially of being in CESTA are the odd opportunities to see something unusual that occur. Once such chance encounter took place recently on the 3rd floor of Perry-Paige while heading to class. A baby goat named Zoee who was only 5 days old was being cared for by her owner who was carrying her around in a picnic basket so she could be fed regularly. The baby goat named Zoee was one of a set of triplets born recently and as the smallest of the three, was having difficultly feeding. Here are some pictures of Zoee.
The FAMU Entomology Club appeared in conjunction with the Apalachee Beekeepers Association during the presentation of a wonderful film about Colony Collapse Disorder, (CCD), entitled "The Vanishing of the Bees" about the decline in bee populations. During this showing our club got to meet a wonderful young girl who will one day grow up to be a famous entomologist. She gave us a card to show her appreciation for our help.
Tallahassee's Mary Brogan Museum is currently hosting an exhibit about insects that involves animatronic displays of a praying mantis and others. The members only opening of the exhibit took place on January 28th and the FAMU Entomology Club was in attendance. Here is a photo album of the evening's activities.
An article about the decline in wild bee populations including the bumblebees.
Article about the Oriental Hornet using a pigment in its outer exoskeleton to harvest solar energy.
An article about an unusual finding during a colonoscopy.
A local school called SAIL hosted a career day recently. Along with many others, the FAMU Entomology Club and CESTA department attended. Here are a few pictures of some of the students we met at SAIL..
During October each year the nearby St. Marks park holds a festival to celebrate the arrival of Monarch butterflies who rest here each year during their migration to Mexico. The FAMU Entomology Club maintains a display at the event in order to introduce the world of insects to children of all ages. To view pictures of the event visit the St. Marks Monarch Butterfly Festival page.
The FAMU Entomology Club was mentioned in two Tallahassee Democrat articles, (article 1, article 2), and a picture of one of the children using the microscope at our table appeared on their website from our appearance at the festival.