What I’ve Learned

Hello again! Jemma here. Looking back I have done more than I could ever imagine I would do this summer. I transcribed interviews, reared weevils, sweep sampled IMG_1084many fields, entered/checked data, sat in on farmer interviews, drove to Lingle and Powell, sorted insects, counted thousands upon thousands of insects, planted/transplanted and watered flowers, weeded the flowers, counted blooms and I even used Instagram. Now it may be that strolling through alfalfa fields, picking through frozen insects and alfalfa and attempting to capture live weevil larvae and lygus nymphs with out losing your cool isn’t ones idea of how they would want to spend the summer- but I’m so glad that this is how I got to spend mine. Continue reading

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How Important is Honeydew?

ant1Allison speaking. The relationship between aphids and parasitoid wasps has been of a lot of interest to us here, as the wasps that kill weevils by using them as hosts for their young to eat (from the inside out!) may benefit from having aphids around for the honeydew they provide. It can be an important sugary food source to many bees, ants and wasps in the order Hymenoptera. Another hypothesis we have is that flower nectar may also play an important role in a parasitic wasp’s diet. But how important to successful weevil parasitism is wasp nutrition? Would the size of aphid populations have any effect on the size of weevil populations through this indirect relationship?

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I Dream of Weevils Part 1

weevil handJemma here! So picture this. You’ve just started a summer internship and everything is going well. You get back from a long day of collecting and looking through samples of insects and the only thing on your mind is sweet, blissful sleep. So you start to wind down, maybe watch an episode or two of your favorite show on Netflix, jump in the shower, throw on some comfy pajamas, brush your teeth and then you finally get into bed. Now that you finally have the chance to relax you start to give in to the welcoming arms of sleep and close your eyes……..and all you see are weevils! Your eyelids become the backdrop to a sea of green worm like creatures wiggling around in your mind and despite your best efforts you can’t find the pause button to this haunting showing of insects.

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