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Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and
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25 May 1999
Volume 7: no. 5
Camp is upon us and we are looking forward to a good week of `buggin.' There is a pretty good crop of new bug chasers signed up this year and we are excited about the prospects. Campers should get their camp physicals up to date and get primed to collect. We have some new instructors and camp helpers this year as well. Mr. Stanley Wise is planning to work with campers to create a daily home page and send out reports so that friends can access camp events on the WWW during the week. We'll get the information on how to access the page out before camp so that friends and `others' can check us out!
The insect study sheets for juniors and seniors contain the basic information 4-Hers need to know in order to do well in the judging and identification contest. There are 38 fairly common insects on the senior sheet and 30 on the junior sheet. Project participants should be able to correctly identify (to Order and common name), pin and label any of the insects listed on the sheets. The sheets also contain information about pest status, life cycle and other interesting information about the insects. The entire contest will come from these sheets. The sheets are being mailed to county offices, so check with your agent to get a copy of them.
Linnaean Game preparation is also in full swing in many counties. I recently moderated a hotly contested county contest. The winning team, there were six excellent teams in the competition, will be hard to beat. The Colorado manual is still the main resource for this activity. Most counties have copies of the manual, but if we've missed someone and there is a need we can mail copies out again. This manual is being rewritten and a few new sections added - It's just slow going getting it done. We are hoping to get a number of companies interested in helping to sponsor the `Games.' We're also considering taking the games regional in the near future. Rules and information on the Games is available on the WWW at the Mississippi Sate Extension - 4-H entomology home page. All Mississippi 4-Hers are eligible to participate in the games - all you need is a team of 4. We'll also have `Linnaean Games' at camp again this year.
Visual presentations are always good contest areas and there are a number of ideal insects which lend themselves to good visuals. Fire ants, bees and some of the other social insects are good subjects. One of the best visuals I have seen in recent years was on growing Catalpa worms for fish bait. Since butterfly gardens are popular this year there is a lot of good information available for visuals on butterflies. Pest insects in the garden or on the farm are also good subjects for visuals. Did you know that `back rubbers' were one of the primary methods of fly control on cattle more than 30 years ago and they still remain one of the mainstays for these pests of cattle.
The American Beekeeping Federation has announced the 2000 Essay. For the turn of the century 2000 essay contest, the essay topic is "Honey Bees and Humans through the Centuries." The Mississippi Contest deadline is December 1, 1999. Mississippi contest winners also receive cash awards for the top 3 essays from Mississippi, compliments of the Mississippi Beekeepers Association. State awards are $100, first place, $75 for second and $50 for third. National awards are $250, $100 and $50. The contest rules are being mailed to 4-H agents, so check with them about the essay or look on the 4-H entomology web page at Mississippi State Extension Service.
Most of this Gloworm has been used to make announcements, but there is room for at least some mention of one neat insect. The Viceroy butterfly is a look alike with the Queen and the Monarch. These 3 butterflies are said to belong to a `mimicry ring.' The bright coloration and similar markings act as a warning to bird predators that these insects taste bad. Many of the milkweed plants, fed on by Monarch caterpillars, are toxic to birds so are avoided. Since the Queen and Viceroy look like the Monarch they too are avoided. The Viceroy can be found almost over the entire US on the edges of woodlands, marshes, and meadows. The larval hosts are willow, poplar, plum, cherry, and aspen. Adults enjoy getting nectar from goldenrod, Joe-pye weed, thistle and milkweed. They will also feed on rotting fruit and dung. This Monarch look-a-like has a wingspan of 3.25."
Dr. Michael R. Williams
Entomology & Plant Pathology
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9775
phone - 601-325-2085
home - 601-323-5699
FAX - 601-325-8837