insects

A Butterfly for a Beer! Or Suds for a Bug!

December 21, 2017
The annual “Butterfly for a Beer” contest, sponsored by Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis, gets underway on Monday, Jan. 1. The person who collects the first cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) of the year in one of three counties—Sacramento, Yolo and Solano—will receive a pitcher of beer or its equivalent.

ID of Pest Reproduction Pheromone May Help Fight Citrus Greening Disease

December 05, 2017
The Asian citrus psyllid, the most devastating threat to the worldwide citrus industry, may have met its match. In a ground-breaking discovery encompassing six years of research, an international team of scientists led by UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal announced they've identified the sex pheromone of the pest, which feeds on citrus and transmits the bacteria that causes the deadly citrus greening disease known as Huanglongbing (HLB).

Why Insect Pests Love Monocultures, and How Plant Diversity Could Change That

October 17, 2016
Left to its own defenses, a farm field growing a variety of plants tends to attract fewer insect pests than a field growing just one type of crop. While scientists and farmers have noted that difference for years, the reasons behind it have been poorly understood. A study led by the University of California, Davis, and published Oct. 12 in the journal Nature explains that much of the discrepancy may have to do with the nutritional needs of insects.