Systematic Research Support for Economically Important Insects
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this cooperative research project is to train and develop students and research associates in the systematics of economically and/or agriculturally important insects, especially beetles. The Cooperator has expertise we do not have in the systematics of weevils, a group of insects important to quarantine at U.S. ports.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS will help design research projects in systematics, aid in the recruitment of students, serve as advisors, and provide specimens for systematic study. The Cooperator will recruit students and/or research associates to conduct systematic research, train students in the methodology and techniques of systematic research, and conduct short-term research to solve emerging issues usually associated with invasive species.
The agreement supports the training of students in the classification and identification of insects and is of importance to agriculture and Quarantine, especially weevils. The results are on the Arizona State University website. This agreement provided partial support for select, highly indicated students who participated in the first Weevil Course held at the Southwest Research Station in August, 2012. The second course has been announced for 2014. It partially supported the graduate studies and M.Sc. level revisionary research on the North American broad-nosed weevil genus Minyomerus. Ten new species in addition to eight known species in the primarily southwestern genus and results will be presented at the ESA meetings in Austin, Texas. The funding also initiated and built up the "Weevils of North America" (http://symbiota1.acis.ufl.edu/scan/portal/checklists/checklist.php?cl=1) - WoNA - a virtual, collaborative, specimen-based resource for taxonomic and distributional information, habitus images, and (in planning) interactive keys to the ca. 2500 species of weevils (Curculionoidea) of North America. So far 800 species are represented in the platform, about 200 species have been imaged. Several ASU undergraduate students have been trained on this project.