College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

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Murder hornets invade headlines, not the U.S.

Though “murder hornets” are dominating recent headlines, there are no Asian Giant Hornets currently known to be living in the U.S. or Canada, according to UC Riverside Entomology Research Museum Senior Scientist Doug Yanega. Yanega is one of the country’s foremost insect identification experts. Beekeepers in Canada consulted him when a colony of the 2-inch-long...
By Jules Bernstein |

This Is a Great Time to Busy Yourself With Bees

When Hollis Woodard picks up the phone on a Friday afternoon in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has to pry her hands from the dirt. “I’m working on the yard furiously to try and soothe myself,” she says. Woodard, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, studies bumble bees—a profession that sometimes...
By Jessica Leigh Hester |

Flower faithful native bee makes a reliable pollinator

Entomologists at UC Riverside have documented that a species of native sweat bee widespread throughout North and South America has a daily routine that makes it a promising pollinator. Because the bee can thrive in environments that have been highly modified by humans, such as cities and agricultural areas, it could become a suitable supplement...

Biblical plague of locusts to bulge to 400 times their size in Africa, warns expert

The United Nations (UN) issued a statement this week warning it is the most severe infestation Kenya has seen in 70 years. Swarms of locusts the size of entire cities are currently sweeping across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, with some as big as 37 miles long and 25 miles wide. Dr. Rick Overson, research scientist...
By Carly Read |

Scientists short-circuit maturity in insects, opening new paths to disease prevention

New research from UC Riverside shows scientists may soon be able to prevent disease-spreading mosquitoes from maturing. Using the same gene-altering techniques, they may also be able help boost reproduction in beneficial bumblebees. The research shows that, contrary to previous scientific belief, a hormone required for sexual maturity in insects cannot travel across a mass...
By Jules Bernstein |

On The Fly

When describing Mark Hoddle, it’s easy to think of him as the Indiana Jones of the entomology world. And it’s not just because of his shirt. This summer, he led a team of UC Riverside researchers on a 600-mile journey to Southern Arizona, where the group trekked 5,500 feet above sea level to a remote...
By Jules Bernstein |

A Closer Look: Argentine Ant Control

Research out of UCR finds that even though Argentine ant control is labor intensive, the use of various formulations of perimeter sprays and baits may help reduce treatment times for PMPs. Pest and Diseases Image Library, Editor’s note: This research was conducted by the University of California, Urban Entomology Laboratory. Syngenta provided financial support...
By Dong-Hwan Choe, Eric Paysen, Les Greenberg, Kathleen Campbell and Michael Rust |

New lab is California’s best defense against deadly citrus disease

California citrus growers and the University of California, Riverside have joined forces to open a research lab to defeat a disease that has decimated citrus crops in Florida and China. The disease, Huanglongbing, or HLB, is caused by bacteria spread by a tiny insect called the Asian citrus psyllid. HLB prevents fruit from ripening properly...
By Holly Ober |


They say love is blind, but if you’re a queen honeybee it could mean true loss of sight. New research finds male honeybees inject toxins during sex that cause temporary blindness. All sexual activity occurs during a brief early period in a honeybee’s life, during which males die and queens can live for many years...
By Jules Bernstein |

Looming Insect Invasion Threatens California Wine and Avocados

UC Riverside is testing whether a sesame seed-sized wasp can control a pest that could seriously damage California crops including wine, walnuts, and avocados. The pest, a sap-sucking spotted lantern fly, is originally from China and was first detected five years ago in Pennsylvania. Since then, large populations have spread rapidly to grape vines, apple...
By Jules Bernstein |

Maggots and murder: what insects can teach us about crime

Taking care to stand upwind, UC Riverside students display stoic professionalism as they collect insects off a pig carcass in 90-degree heat. This scene from a class in forensic entomology could have been ripped from any TV police drama and in some ways, it was. Professor Alec Gerry said intense student interest in crime scene...
By Jules Bernstein |

UCR Entomologist Honored

Three UC Riverside entomologists have won prestigious awards from the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America. Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell, director of the Lindcove Research and Extension Center at Exeter, Calif. and a research entomologist, won the CW Woodworth Award “for outstanding accomplishments in entomology over at least the past 10 years.” Grafton-Cardwell studies strategies for integrated...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |

Bee mite arrival in Hawaii causes pathogen changes in honeybee predators

The reddish-brown varroa mite, a parasite of honeybees and accidentally introduced in the Big Island of Hawaii in 2007-08, is about the size of a pinhead. Yet, its effects there are concerning to entomologists because the mite is found nearly everywhere honeybees are present. A team led by entomologists at the University of California, Riverside...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |

Researchers identify new approach for controlling dengue fever and Zika virus

Mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animals, killing thousands of people and causing millions of illnesses each year. To be able to reproduce and become effective disease carriers, mosquitoes must first attain optimal body size and nutritional status. A pair of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have succeeded in using CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful tool...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |

ESA Recognizes Professor for Interactive Approach to Teaching

William Walton, a professor of eantomology, has received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from the Entomological Society of America (ESA). The award is presented annually to the member of the Society deemed to be the most outstanding teacher of the year. Walton, who has been on the UCR faculty since 1995, teaches insect ecology...
By Sarah Nightingale |

Researchers to Target Mosquito Egg Production to Curtail Disease

Five-year grant to UC Riverside entomologists will support the ongoing study
By Igbal Pittalwala |

UCR Scientist Rediscovers Insect Lost For 105 Years

Entomology Museum volunteers rediscovered a beetle that hadn’t been sighted for more than a century.
By Sarah Nightingale |

UCR Researchers Receive Grant to Improve Pollinator Health

Entomology researchers, Ponisio, McFrederick and Woodard receive grant from Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to improve pollinator health.
By Sarah Nightingale |

Invasive Weevil: Tiny insect poses huge threat to San Diego Palm Trees

Director of Center for Invasive Species Research Mark Hoddle warns of the threat weevils pose to San Diego palm trees
By Abbie Alford, Reporter |

Researchers Receive $1M for Project Challenging Long-Standing Paradigm in Endocrinology

W.M. Keck foundation awards $1 million in support of Drs. Yamanaka, Haga-Yamanaka, and Sladek research aimed at showing membrane transporters guide flow of steroid hormones into cells.
By Igbal Pittalwala |
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