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Anopheles dirus

Anopheles dirus is a major vector of human malaria in Southeast Asia. This highly anthropophilic species is an efficient malaria vector inhabiting forested areas. Gem-miners in the forests of Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand often leave behind numerous holes in the ground, which quickly fill with rainwater, thereby creating ideal breeding sites for An. dirus (formerly An. balabacensis).

Ruth's cuckoo bee

Ruth's cuckoo bee, Holcopasites ruthae (Hymenoptera: Apidae), was discovered in 1991 on the UCR campus by Professor Emeritus Kenneth Cooper, who named it in honor of his wife. As with other cleptoparasitic bees, H. ruthae females deposit their eggs in the nests of other bees, which do the work of collecting pollen for their larvae. H. ruthae parasitizes the subterranean nests of Calliopsis pugionis (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae).

Cicindela

The "greenest tiger beetle," Cicindela tranquebarica viridissima (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) occurs in a few small colonies within the Santa Ana River watershed. All tiger beetles are predators; the sedentary larvae snatch small insects which pass near their soil burrows, while the alert, swift adults actively hunt their prey along stream margins.

Coelioxys

This Coelioxys (Hymenoptera; Megachilidae) is a cleptoparasitic bee. It does not collect pollen to feed its young; instead, it lays its eggs in the nests of leaf cutter bees (Megachile). When the egg hatches, the Coelioxys larva kills the host larva and then eats the provisions provided by the adult host.

Conura

Conura amoena (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) is a chalcid wasp which parasitizes the pupae of small butterflies, in this case the common gray hairstreak Strymon melinus.

Dasymutilla

This male Dasymutilla sp. (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae), a.k.a. velvet ant, often visits flowers, while the wingless female, is usually encountered crawling over the ground in search of the nests of soil-nesting hunting wasps, where she lays her eggs. The mutillid larva will eventually eat the pupa of the host wasp. The female velvet ant has a powerful sting, while the male, as with other wasps, does not.

Hercules beetle

The Hercules beetle, Dynastes hercules (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), from Central America, is known for its impressive size and the elongate horns of the male, that are used to fight other males to attract the attention of the hornless female.

Eusapyga

Wasps in the genus Eusapyga (Hymenoptera: Sapygidae) are parasitic in the nests of leaf-cutter bees and their relatives in the family Megachilidae (Hymenoptera).

Rhaphiomidas

Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis Cazier (family Mydidae) is commonly known as the Delhi Sands Flower-loving Fly and is federally protected as an endangered species. It is now restricted to only a few hundred acres of what remains of the Delhi Sands formation of Southern California. The adults are only active for a few weeks each year, feeding on flowers, in August and September. The larvae are likely predators that live deep in the sand.

Leptogaster

Leptogaster sp. (Diptera: Asilidae) robber flies typically inhabit low vegetation and especially grasses. Unlike most other robber flies, which capture prey on the wing, the slender-bodied leptogastrine asilids hunt stationary prey on grass stems and twigs.

Phyllium

This immature female leaf insect (Phyllium) (Phasmida: Phylliidae) from northern Thailand is a nearly perfect mimic of a leaf, complete with veins, necrotic spots, and ragged margins resembling feeding damage from other insects. Crypsis even extends to the insect's behavior, as it rocks back and forth in a quaking motion, resembling a leaf in a gentle breeze, when slowly moving forward.

Lexias dirtea merguia

Lexias dirtea merguia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Limenitidini) inhabits forests of SE Asia and is a frequent visitor to rotting fruit on the forest floor. In this species there is strong sexual dimorphism; while the female is brown with yellow spots, the male is primarily black and blue.

Oncerometopus

Oncerometopus nigriclavus Reuter (Heteroptera: Miridae) is a true bug. Mirids use their specialized piercing mouthparts to suck the fluids from their hosts and their host associations are often restricted to particular plant species. This species of plant bug, one of over 10,000 in the family, is often found on rabbitbush or brittlebush in California

Parnopes

Parnopes fulvicornis (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae) occurs in dryish habitats of Southwestern North America. It is a cuckoo wasp, so-called because it deposits its eggs in the soil nests of hunting wasps, where its larvae feed on the nest provisions.

Pepsis

One should not handle tarantula hawk wasps unless one can distinguish the sexes. Male Pepsis, such as this one, lack a venomous sting, whereas the females reportedly can deliver the most painful sting of all North American wasps. They use their sting to paralyze tarantulas, on which they deposit an egg after first burying the spider. The paralyzed tarantula remains alive while the wasp larva consumes it.

Perilampus regalis

(Hymenoptera: Perilampidae) is a secondary parasite of tachinid flies and chalcidoid wasps which parasitize lepidopterous larvae and pupae.

beewolf Philanthus pulcher

The beewolf Philanthus pulcher Dalla Torre (family Crabronidae) is a solitary predatory wasp feeding on bees or other wasps. After stinging and paralyzing their prey, the female beewolf will carry the prey back to its burrow where several paralyzed prey are stashed. She will then lay an egg on the stored prey, upon which the developing larvae feed. The males are territorial, marking twigs and other objects with pheromones.

 

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Entomology in the News

 

  • Jocelyn Millar, a professor of entomology and cooperating faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded the Silver Medal for career achievement by the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE). See more.
  • Bradley White, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, has received a five-year grant of more than $1.8 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the many institutes that make up the National Institutes of Health. The grant will allow his lab to produce fine-scale recombination rate maps for the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. See more

 


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