New Formula Doubles Performance of Spotted Wing Drosophila Lure

spotted wing drosophila

To slightly modify an old adage, you can catch more flies with increased levels of acetoin, acetic acid, and ethanol than with methionol. Specifically, the fly in question is spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), an invasive pest in North American and Europe that attacks several fruit crops. A lure for catching and monitoring in D. […]

Olive Tree is Second Non-Ash Species Found Vulnerable to Emerald Ash Borer

EAB larvae in olive stem

Last fall, researchers at Wright State University announced they had found that emerald ash borer can develop from larvae to adulthood on a species of olive tree. Today, that study is published online in the Journal of Economic Entomology. Their detailed report shows that 45 percent of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) eggs that […]

Capacity Funding: High Impact for Land-Grant Colleges and Local Agriculture

NIFA Capacity Funding Review - Figure 1

By Johanna Elsensohn For over a hundred years, land-grant colleges and universities (LGUs, as defined by the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, as well as 1994 institutions) and associated research stations have received annual federal allotments known as capacity, or formula, funding. This money is authorized every five years by the Farm Bill and […]

What Puts the Blister Into Blister Beetles?

Epicauta chinensis blister beetle

By John P. Roche Blister beetles produce cantharidin, a 10-carbon isoprenoid molecule that is highly bitter and is toxic to most animals. Because cantharidin is so bitter, it discourages predators, and its production may have been selected for in blister beetles because of this bitterness. The molecule is found in only two insect groups: blister […]

How Sex and Scientific Research Saved Your Steak Dinner (and Bambi) From the Screwworm Fly—Again

screwworm fly

By Susan J. Weller, Ph.D., and Robert K.D. Peterson, Ph.D. If there is one thing that we have learned from scientific research, it’s this: We cannot know where the next breakthrough will come from, but maintaining adequate funding for our nation’s scientific researchers is money well-spent. As an example, consider the screwworm fly in the […]