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Graduate research opportunity – insect diversity in Mormon cricket ecosystems

Graduate Student Opportunity – M.Sc. in Biology

Franz Lab and Hasbrouck Insect Collection, School of Life Science, Arizona State University

Our lab (http://taxonbytes.org/) has an opening for a funded M.Sc. research project involving biodiversity surveys and information products related to rangeland grasshoppers and Mormon cricket pests and associated non-target organisms from the grasshopper and Mormon cricket ecosystem. The project will be co-advised by research entomologists of the USDA Center for Plant Health Science and Technology in Phoenix, Arizona, under the leadership of Dr. Larry Jech. A central research objective is to characterize the effects of a new insecticide, chlorantraniliprole, on diverse non-target arthropods in rangeland ecosystems in 17 western states, with emphasis on orthopteran groups.

The selected candidate will be broadly trained in insect biodiversity science, informatics, and applied entomology. Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Nico Franz (e-mail: nico.franz@asu.edu) to learn more about this opportunity. Applications to the M.Sc. in Biology program should be submitted on-line at: https://sols.asu.edu/graduate/ biology-masters-and-phd- programs.

The application submission deadline is December 15, 2014.

Entomology 2014: 3rd collecting trip to Coon Bluff, Salt River

During the early night hours of Friday, September 19, we had our third collecting trip for this Fall period to the always interesting and productive Coon Bluff Campground, located along the Salt River of the Tonto National Forest. In addition to abundant and diverse moths, we collected a number of antlion species (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) and large to minute beetles flying to the mercury and ultraviolet lights. Recent rains (10 days prior) must have flooded the usually loose and powdery soil which this year appeared solid and compacted. Not many darkling beetles were present, and scarabs were also less frequent than in previous years.

The proper way to record the locality information is “USA: AZ: Maricopa Co.; Tonto NF, Coon Bluff; 33.547349, -111.644989; general coll. & at Hg/UV lights; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], IX-19-2014″. Photos of the trip are posted here.

Entomology 2014: 2nd collecting trip to First Water, Superstition Mountains

On Saturday, September 06, the Entomology 2014 group had its second (morning) collecting trip to the picturesque First Water Trailhead, Superstition Mountains. In spite of a generally wet summer in Central Arizona, First Water appeared dry and insect abundance was comparatively low. It was hot and sunny, with nowhere to escape from the conditions. Nevertheless we collected a range of aquatic and terrestrial insects, including Belostomatidae (giant water bugs) and Nepidae (water scorpions). See more photos here.

The proper way to record the locality information is: USA: AZ: Pinal Co.; First Water Trailhead (FR 78) at Hwy 88; 33.487098, -111.441984; general coll. & aquatic net; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], IX-06-2014.

Entomology 2014: 1st collecting trip to Mesquite Wash

The Entomology 2014 collecting season has officially started with a first field trip during the night of Friday, August 29, to Mesquite Wash. We have had a wet summer and this was seemingly reflected in the high abundance of insect collecting on the ground, on plants, and at Hg & UV lights. There was no shortage of beetles, flies, moths, and many other insects. See more photos here.

The proper way to record the locality information is: USA: AZ: Maricopa Co.; Bee Line Highway (Rte. 87), Mesquite Wash; 33.731031, -111.514748; general coll. & Hg/UV lights; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], VIII-29-2014.

2013 BIO 386 course – last collecting trip returning to Mesquite Wash

On Sunday, November 17, students of the ASU-SoLS General Entomology course BIO 386 had their sixth and last collecting trip for this semester – once more to Mesquite Wash. We collected insects along the river bed with receding water ponds and still relatively abundant activity; particularly for beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, and true bugs. The proper way to record the locality information is “U.S.: AZ: Maricopa Co.; Bee Line Highway (Rte. 87), Mesquite Wash; 33.732267, -111.519228; general collecting; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], XI-17-2013″. Thanks to all who participated. See more photos here.

2013 BIO 386 course collecting trip to Mesquite Wash

On Saturday, October 05, students of the ASU-SoLS General Entomology course BIO 386 had their fourth collecting trip to Mesquite Wash, a diverse and productive habitat located in the Tonto National Forest. There was standing water remaining from the summer rains and abundant insect activity, particularly beetles and moths. And good student turnout. The proper way to record the locality information is “U.S.: AZ: Maricopa Co.; Bee Line Highway (Rte. 87), Mesquite Wash; 33.731031, -111.514748; general coll. & Hg/UV lights; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], X-05-2013″. See more photos here.

Using SCAN to construct a virtual checklist and key

Presentation Notes for the Arthropod Biodiversity Sessions held on September 19, 2013, at the 12th Biennial Conference of Science and Management on the Colorado Plateau, Northern Arizona University.

Using SCAN to Construct an Arthropod Checklist – Preliminary Insights from the “Weevils of North America” Project

Nico Franz, Michael Shillingburg & Sarah Shirota Read more

2013 BIO 386 course has third field trip to First Water Trailhead

On Sunday, September 15, students of the ASU-SoLS General Entomology course BIO 386 had their third collecting trip to the First Water Trailhead, an accessible and scenic area of the Superstition Mountains. The habitat was in good condition with many Odonata species and and other aquatic insects. The proper way to record the locality information is “U.S.: AZ: Pinal Co.; First Water Trailhead (FR 78) at Hwy 88; 33.487098, -111.441984; general coll. & aquatic net; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], IX-15-2013″. See more photos here.