Department of Entomology


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).


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.


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


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.


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 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 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.


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 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 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.


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.


Seminar Schedule

    The Buzz

2012-2013 Entomology Newsletter

Entomology in the News

  • As we move from an agrarian society to an urban one, we have had to take an increasing interest in arthropods, both beneficial and harmful, in our urban environment.  These arthropods include cockroaches, bed bugs, termites and ants.  Hence, the growing field of “urban entomology,” which focuses on the study of insects and other arthropods, such as spiders, affecting people and their property.

    But what is the latest research on bed bugs? On termites?  What are some low-impact methods for controlling ants? And what are some new invasive cockroach pests in California?

    The public has the opportunity to get the answers to these and other questions pertinent to urban entomology at the 23rd annual UC Riverside Urban Pest Management Conference on March 25. See more.
  • Six Faculty Members Named to UCR Academy of Distinguished Teachers. The newcomers are all past recipients of major campus teaching awards and were selected by the current members of the academy. Joining the 10-member academy is our Professor Timothy D. Paine (Entomology). See more
  • DR. JOCELYN MILLAR is a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). He is internationally known for his research on insect chemical ecology, and the development of applications for insect semiochemicals and related compounds. See More
  • An international team of researchers, including an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, has an explanation for why we see so many hybrid moths in nature. See more
  • Entomologist Marshall Johnson, an extension specialist and researcher at the University of California, Riverside, has received the Distinguished Scientist of the Year Award from the International Organization for Biological Control — Nearctic Regional Section (IOBC-NRS). See more


General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Dept of Entomology Information

417 Entomology Bldg.

Fax: (951) 827-3086
Prospective Grad Students: (800) 735-0717
Grad Student Affairs