Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Arthro-Pod EP 36 Bee Venom and Apitherapy



Hey there bug lovers! On our latest episode we are will dissect the contents of bee venom and discuss the possible medical uses of it. Bee venom is a chemical cocktail of pain inducing compounds but many people allow themselves to be stung for therapeutic reasons. Data suggests that there may be promising results but there is also reason for extreme caution before pursuing this course of action. 

Honey bees have many uses, is one of them medicinal? (Photo credit: Jim Kalisch; UNL Entomology)
A bee sting removed from the bee (Photo credit: Jim Kalisch; UNL Entomology)

Definitions to consider:

Apitherapy: The use of honey bee related products for medicinal purposes. Includes venom, honey, beeswax, etc.

Bee venom therapy (BVT):  "in which bee venom is used for medicinal purposes, is available worldwide, but is primarily utilized in Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. The diverse therapeutic applications of BVT include various musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis and rheumatism, chronic recalcitrant neuralgia, arthralgia, and immune-related diseases. BVT is also used to desensitize patients to bee stings and thus inhibit allergic reactions"
A typical reaction a bee sting (Photo credit: Jim Kalisch; UNL Entomology)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Arthro-Pod Episode 35 Insects and Arachnids in Folklore


Hey there bug lovers! On today's enthralling new Arthro-Pod Jody and Jonathan discuss how insects have fit into cultural folklore from around the world. Tune in to hear about how arachnids may have helped to create life on earth or about how mosquitoes came to be. If those seem to grand in scale we also discuss the good luck associated with lady beetles and meteorological skills of caterpillars. All good stuff and we hope you'll join us!


Mosquito photo by James Kalisch; UNL Entomology Dept



What is folklore? Source: 

Woollybear photo by James Kalisch; UNL Entomology Dept. 


Some other cool links to check out about specific insects and folklore surrounding them:
https://www.almanac.com/content/woolly-bear-caterpillars-and-weather-prediction

Questions? Comments? 

Follow the hosts on Twitter @JLarson_UNL@JodyBugsmeUNL, and @MSkvarla36

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This episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/




Beginning/ending theme: "There It Is" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Arthro-Pod Episode 34 Attack of the bug-eating plants



Hey there bug lovers! On today's show Michael Skvarla is flying solo to interview fellow Penn State entomologist Dr. Tanya Renner! Dr. Renner is an evolutionary biologist who is helping the world to figure out the evolutionary patterns of carnivorous plants and bombardier beetles. Tune in to learn all about her fascinating research!


Drosera rotundifolia by Tanya Renner 


Show notes for today's episode:

Check out the Renner Lab website-


If you are curious about carnivorous plants or want to grow your own here are some great resources provided by our guest:

For purchasing plants Dr. Renner says, "I’ve working with folks at California Carnivores (Peter D’Amato and Damon Collingsworth) for over a decade and I would highly recommend them. Also, Sarracenia Northwest (https://www.growcarnivorousplants.com/) has super nice pitcher plants. I haven’t been able to find a supplier on the east coast yet."

Go check those folks out!

Great books on growing carnivorous plants:
Other good info guides/biology books on carnivorous plants:
The International Carnivorous Plant Society is a great resource for articles on how grow these plants, general biology, and conservation. The society publishes a quarterly newsletter, which includes scientific publications. http://www.carnivorousplants.org/

Photo by Tanya Renner
Questions? Comments? 

Follow the hosts on Twitter @JLarson_UNL@JodyBugsmeUNL, and @MSkvarla36

Get the show through iTunes!

Subscribe to our feed on Feedburner!  


We're on Stitcher too! 


This episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/




Beginning/ending theme: "There It Is" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Arthro-Pod at ESA 2017: Making Friends with Ask an Entomologist


Hey there bug lovers! Our final on the road production features Joe Ballenger and Nancy Miorelli of Ask an Entomologist. Tune in to hear about their amazing work and how it can help folks and also learn that scientists are people too with weird hobbies!

This is a road production so you will hear hotel noises and the jingle jangle of our name tags as we get animated!

Check out ask an entomologist at 
or






We look forward to teaming up with Ask an Entomologist again in the future!




Arthro-Pod Quickcast 2 from ESA 2017: Sheryl Hosler, The Roving Naturalist!


Hey there bug lovers we're coming at you from EntSoc2017 in Denver with another quick-cast! In this episode we meet up with Sheryl Hosler a.k.a The Roving Naturalist! We talk YouTube, how videos help with science communication, and bison poop! Be sure to tune in!



Subscribe to the Roving Naturalist! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Arthro-Pod Quickcast from ESA 2017: Sarah Triplett of Butterfly Pavilion


Hey there bug lovers! We're coming at you from the Entomological Society of America National meeting in Denver, CO! We're trying to put together some "quickcasts" for all of you and our first one features Sarah Triplett of Butterfly Pavilion. Tune in to hear about zookeeping as a career and all the wonders that await you at Butterfly Pavilion!
Our first guest at ESA 2017!


Check out the Butterfly Pavilion and head to their website to learn more:
https://www.butterflies.org/


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Arthro-Pod Episode 33: The Horror of Parasitoid Insects!


Hi there bug lovers and welcome to our Halloween special! Today, Jody and Jonathan are featuring parasitoids, one of the most fascinating groups of insects! Their life cycles lend themselves to Halloween discussion as they are often reminiscent of the Alien in Alien, devouring victims from the inside out. 


Aphid mummies caused by a parasitoid braconid wasp (Photo Jody Green; UNL)

In the show we discuss the differences between parasites and parasitoids but here are some easy definitions if you are curious: 


Parasites: lives off another’s (host) benefits by deriving nutrients at host’s expense giving nothing in return

Some examples
External: leech, lice, fleas, ticks, mites
Internal: tapeworm, protozoan that transmits Malaria via mosquito vector, horsehair worms

Here is a horsehair worm leaving a mantis

Parasitoid: Usually insects that undergo complete metamorphosis such as wasps and flies, where the female lays eggs in or on the host and the larvae behaves like an internal parasite, developing using the host’s body for nutrients, but eventually kills the host by through the developmental process. 

Some examples
Parasitoid
Host
Description
Appearance
Braconid wasp
(Braconidae)
Sphingid caterpillar (Spingidae)

Eggs laid & free living in side hemolymph, emerge & spin cocoon on outside of caterpillar
Hornworm caterpillar has hundreds of larvae or cocoons on the outside of its body. Wasp is very small.
Aphidius sp.
(Braconidae)
Aphids (Aphididae)
Eggs laid on aphid, grows inside, killing it, pupation creates the mummy form, chews hole out of the rear end
In the same place where aphids are found, aphid mummies are swollen, tan, papery spheres with cornicles. Tiny wasps among aphids.
Emerald wasp/Jewel wasp (Ampulicidae)

American cockroach
(Blattidae)
Sting thoracic ganglion to paralyze, then sting head to disarm escape reflex, chews off half of each antenna, guides cockroach to burrow
Wasp is found in Asia & Africa. Metallic blue color, 2nd & 3rd pair of legs are bright red & enlarged
Scolioidea (Scoliidae)
Scarab beetles/white grubs, Japanese beetles (Scarabaeidae)
Burrows in ground to look for larvae, spins cocoon underground, locates host by kairomones like hydrocarbons, feces
Wasp has stout body, bright colors, black & yellow.
Cicada killer wasps (Crabronidae)
Cicada
(Cicadidae)
Catch cicada using sounds, provision burrows with paralyzed cicadas, overwinter as larvae, pupate in spring, emerge as adults in summer (no adults overwinter)
Largest wasp, often close to wooded area where cicadas can be found, females are very large solitary, males territorial but only has pseudo stinger.
Velvet ant
(Mutillidae)
Cicada killer
(Crabronidae)
Lay egg in nest cell of cicada killer when larvae pupates it consumes pupae (Hyperparasite)
Bright colors, females lack wings, coarse hair
Ichneumonid wasp
(Ichneumonidae)
Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera  grub, larva or pupae
Inject eggs into hosts bodies or in larvae of other icheunmonids (Hyperparasite). Can use ovipositor to inject into wood boring larvae below bark
Slender waist, lots of antennal segments, some have long threadlike ovipositors
Tachinid fly
 (Tachnidae)
Caterpillars and other insect hosts

Robust fly with shiny or very hairy butt, feeds on flowers as adult

Emblemasoma sp. (Sarcophagidae)
Cicada
(Cicadidae)
Locates host by acoustically hunting male cicadas, drops 1-6 maggots at base of wings that burrow into body to feed, larvae use “oral hooks” to chew their way out to pupate in soil.
Flesh fly with red eyes, 3 dark stripes on thorax

Cicada killer wasp with hapless cicada victim (Photo Jody Green; UNL)

Not all parasitoids are wasps! Flies and beetles can parasitize as well! (Photo Jody Green; UNL)


Questions? Comments? 

Follow the hosts on Twitter @JLarson_UNL@JodyBugsmeUNL, and @MSkvarla36

Get the show through iTunes!

Subscribe to our feed on Feedburner!  


We're on Stitcher too! 


This episode is freely available on archive.org and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/




Beginning/ending theme: "There It Is" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0