Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory2012 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.
3. Progress Report:
The agreement supports the training of students in the classification and identification of insects, specifically weevils, of importance to agriculture and quarantine. The results are on the Arizona State University Web site. Weevils are the largest group of organisms on the planet causing significant damage to food and horticultural crops, and includes bark beetles that attack forests worldwide. Major pests include the boll, pecan, and wheat weevils. One new graduate student was recruited to work on a weevil systematics project. A top-of-the-line microscope was purchased to be used by two graduate students, by the graduate student mentioned above and by another Ph.D. student from Brazil who is currently conducting research on flower weevil systematics. The first Southwest Research Station (SWRS) Weevil Course was organized and will be held in Portal, AZ, from August 1-8, 2012; participants included five colleagues and 18 students. See http://research.amnh.org/swrs/weevil-course. A small stipend was awarded to 10 deserving students so that they were be able to attend this unique course.