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06 July 2000
Volume 8: no. 2
We are in the midst of prime butterfly collecting season. Many of the larger moths have already cycled once, but we can also expect to see them coming to sheets and light traps at night - so get out there and do it! Collecting is always more fun when done in a group, and camp helps. I have attended three 4-H entomology camps since June 1 and think that I now know how to camp, just do it all the time! Our annual 4-H entomology camp was a huge success. We had 80 campers this year, that's including the old folks, too! We assembled on campus at MSU this year and proceeded to `hunt bugs' around this area for a change. Dorm life is a little different and Hull's bugs insured that things were different at MSU for the first week in June.
Dr. Peter Ma and Dr. Doug Inglis set up some neat experiments for us in their laboratories. One young camper was reported to say after he got home, "Mom, I'm gonna be an entomologist when I grow up and not only that I'm gonna be an insect physiologist!" Most of us didn't know what one of those was before camp.
We visited the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge at Bluff Lake for a day and a night of collecting. I'm sorry to say that the cool temperatures and rain kept insects from flying as much at night as we would have liked, but a few Luna moths and a good number of nice beetles were taken during the week. We were also treated to a neat collecting excursion at the Joe McGowan farm. The butterflies were in evidence. This was probably one of the best years we have had for collecting butterflies and Joe provided us with a good place to chase them. He also designed our camp tee-shirt this year. Dr. Richard Brown opened a number of the campers' eyes to our rich entomological history when they toured the museum. We also saw insects up close and personal during the electron microscope demonstration by Mr. Bill Monroe. It was a lot of fun and now that it's over we're beginning to make plans for next year. So mark the first week in June 2001 for 4-H Entomology Camp and plan on joining us for a week of bug chasing. Also check us out on the camp web page: http://www.msstate.edu/Entomology/4-H/camp.html
I also attended another camp on the Hind Community College Campus as a part of a 4-H leadership 2000 camp. We had an entomology track for this 3 day camp and collected a lot of insects, as well. We found out that Hinds county must be the capitol of the world for mole crickets. They came to our black light by the hands full.
There was a fun filled day at Tremont for a day of collecting and pinning with the Itawamba, Pontotoc and Tishomingo bug chasers. Yes, rhinoceros beetles do grow in Mississippi, we found one at Tremont school! These kinds of 4-H activities are open to all, everybody is welcome to come and help us chase bugs just about anytime.
Spicebush swallowtail - Mississippi's state butterfly!
Wing span: 3 - 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm).
Identification: Upper surface of forewing is mostly black with ivory spots along margin. Upper surface of hindwing has orange spot on costal margin and sheen of bluish (female) or bluish-green (male) scales. Underside of hindwing with pale green marginal spots.
Life history: Males patrol in woods, roads and woodland edges to find receptive females. Females lay single eggs on underside of host plant leaves. Caterpillars live in shelters of folded-over leaves and come out to feed at night. Some chrysalids from each generation hibernate. 2 generations per year from April-October. In Florida, several generations between March-December.
Caterpillar hosts: Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum); perhaps prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), and redbay (Persea borbonia).
Adult food: Nectar from Japanese honeysuckle, jewelweed, thistles, milkweed, azalea, dogbane, lantana, mimosa, and sweet pepperbush.
Habitat: Deciduous woodlands, fields, roadsides, yards, pine barrens, wooded swamps, and parks.
Range: Eastern states from southern Canada to Florida; west to Oklahoma and central Texas. Occasionally strays to North Dakota, central Colorado, and Cuba.
Photo by L. L. Hyche, Auburn Univ., information on the spicebush swallowtail was obtained from: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/ms By Jane M. Struttmann.
There are a number of 4-H entomology events in which young people can participate each year. Those participating have worked hard to learn more about the world around them. They deserve to be congratulated.
2000 Mississippi Bee essay winner: Katie McFadyen, Oktibbeha county - This contest is sponsored in Mississippi by the Mississippi Beekeepers Association and a $100 award is given to the first place Mississippi winner, second place gets $75 and third gets $50.
Senior 4-H Congress winners:
Insect Collection: Andrea Patterson, Itawamba county - $25.00 Award
Insect ID and Pinning: Andrea Patterson, Itawamba county
Visual Presentation: Andrea Patterson, Itawamba county
Linnaean Games Team Competition:
High scoring individual - Rebecca Oakes - Attala county
1st Place Team - Covington County:
Stephen Baker - 2nd
Kate Humphrey - 3rd
First place Senior Linnaean Team members, each received a $100 check. The Games are sponsored by DOW Agrosciences, Bayer and Zeneca.
Junior winners at project achievement days:
Insect Collection: BRW (Blue Ribbon Winner) - Ben Ruscoe, Wesley Cox, Justin Evans, Nolan Webb, Jacob Evans
Insect ID and Pinning: Blake Bennett, Oktibbeha county
Visual Presentation: Blake Bennet, Oktibbeha county
Linnaean Game Team Competition High Scoring Individual: Joseph Rhea, Lee county
1st Place Linnaean Game Team: Pontotoc county - Evan Anderson, Justin Collums, Russell Morton, Brent Powell
Insect Collection: BRW - Ken Oakes, Audrey Harrison, Justin Armstrong
Insect ID and Pinning: Ken Oakes, Attala county
Visual Presentation: 10-11 BRW - Aerial Brown, Bolivar county
1st Place Linnaean Game Team: Attala county - Ken Oakes, Josh Thrasher, Steven Cullen, Justin Armstrong
Insect Collection: BRW - Ashton Smith, Shauna, Dickens, Alan Humphrey, Robert Reed, Brandy Nicholson, Dana Burns
Insect ID and Pinning: Alan Humphrey, Covington county
Visual Presentation: 10 to 11 - BRW Stephanie Eddie, Harrison county
Linnaean Game Team Competition High Scoring Individual: Alan Humphrey, Covington county and Beth Rhodes, Harrison county (tie for first place)
1st Place Linnaean Game Team: Harrison County - Ethan Burnett, Marcus Truhett, Stephanie Eddie, Beth Rhodes
Insect Collection: BRW - Zach Cawthorn, Copiah county
Insect ID and Pinning: Zach Cawthorn, Copiah county
Visual Presentation: Zach Cawthorn, Copiah county
Linnaean Game Team Competition High Scoring Individual: Zach Cawthorn
1st Place Linnaean Game Team: Copiah county - Bernard Robinson, Justin Bunley, Zach Cawthorn, Gregory Holloway
First place Junior Linnaean team members, each received a $25 check. The Games are sponsored by DOW Agrosciences, Bayer and Zeneca.
Dr. Michael R. Williams
Entomology & Plant Pathology
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9775
phone - 601-325-2085
home - 601-323-5699
FAX - 601-325-8837