Grand Island Independent: UNL’s annual BugFest event goes virtual this year

Grand Island Independent: UNL’s annual BugFest event goes virtual this year “The online event is designed to create a comfortable space for families and friends to learn about insects and science through family-oriented activities. Attendees can learn about bee biology, learn how to draw insects, view Nebraska insects, see insects with a blacklight and participate in at-home, hands-on activities. All activities and videos were created by entomology students, faculty and staff.”

PR Newswire: SC Johnson and AccuWeather Announce Launch of First-of-its-Kind Pest Index to Help Families Plan for a Summer Full of Memories…Not Pests (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: SC Johnson and AccuWeather Announce Launch of First-of-its-Kind Pest Index to Help Families Plan for a Summer Full of Memories…Not Pests (PRESS RELEASE). “The Pest Index provides users with real-time information on the potential incidence of common bugs in their local towns and cities. It factors in location, weather and insect behavior to predict what level of pest activity – low, moderate or high – people can expect from both indoor and outdoor pests.”

Mashable: Insect scientists want your help renaming bugs with racist names

Mashable: Insect scientists want your help renaming bugs with racist names. “The [Entomological Society of America]’s Better Common Names Project is just what it sounds like: An effort to root out any examples of problematic names on the ESA Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms List. The effort starts with a task force that will be looking at: names containing ‘derogative terms,’ names for invasive bugs that include ‘inappropriate geographic references,’ and names ‘that inappropriately disregard what the insect might be called by native communities.’”

Natural History Museum (UK): Critical data from millions of insect specimens to be unlocked through cutting-edge 3D imaging technology

Natural History Museum (UK): Critical data from millions of insect specimens to be unlocked through cutting-edge 3D imaging technology. “Over 1.6 million of the Museum’s 35 million insects have already been digitised using 2D photography. These specimens have had their images and collections data (information about where in time and space they were collected and what species they are) made available to the public via the Museum’s Data Portal. However, this landmark project is expected to provide valuable new insights and information by providing the beginnings of a high-resolution 3D dataset for all living and fossil insects and their close relatives.”

The City Paper: Colombia home to 20% of world’s butterfly species, reveals report

The City Paper: Colombia home to 20% of world’s butterfly species, reveals report. “The yellow butterflies that swarm the imaginary and magical landscapes of Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude are just one species of 3,642 that inhabit the very real Colombia, and country home to 20% of all butterfly species on the planet. The findings are the result of years of research by scientists, collectors, students and amateurs documenting species across topographically challenging terrain. The list of 3,642 species and 2,085 subspecies was compiled by Dr Blanca Huertas, Senior Curator at the Natural History Museum in London.”

Getty: Inside the Yearlong Deep-Clean of the Getty Museum

Getty: Inside the Yearlong Deep-Clean of the Getty Museum. “When the Getty Center reopens, visitors will wander through galleries that have been painstakingly cleaned, rid of any insects, and treated to head off future pest activity. The process took months of deinstalling artworks and methodically cleaning them and the surrounding galleries. The pandemic offered a rare opportunity to work uninterrupted in the galleries for months at a time—an undertaking that would have been difficult if the museum was open to the public.”

KMBC: There’s an app that will help track this year’s cicada emergence in many states

KMBC: There’s an app that will help track this year’s cicada emergence in many states. “Coming in late April or early May, the largest hoard of 17-year cicadas ever will emerge from their underground homes in dozens of states across the U.S. Researchers are asking you not to ignore the whistling and buzzing mating calls this year, but instead, photograph and identify where they’re found.”

Bangor Daily News: New list gives comprehensive look at Maine’s many spiders

Bangor Daily News: New list gives comprehensive look at Maine’s many spiders. “Maine has 677 different species of spiders, according to the newly-published Checklist of Maine Spiders. Co-written by Daniel T. Jennings and Charlene P. Donahue, the list is the ‘first reasonably comprehensive checklist of spider families, genera and species’ collected in Maine, according to the checklist’s introduction.”

Canadian Manufacturing: The next invasion of insect pests will be discovered via social media

Canadian Manufacturing: The next invasion of insect pests will be discovered via social media. “People of all ages are taking to social media to connect with other naturalists. From Whatsthisbug on Reddit (which boasts 245,000 members), to the thousands of active entomologists on Twitter, to the hundreds of groups dedicated to insect identification on Facebook such as Entomology (146,000 members) and Insect Identification (62,000 members), social media are enabling biodiversity conversations. New scientifically unnamed species — from fungi to flowers to insects — are now regularly found via Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.”

CNET: Australia has invented Shazam for spiders

CNET: Australia has invented Shazam for spiders. “Critterpedia is a collaboration between creators Nic and Murray Scare and Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO. It’s a machine learning engine designed to automatically identify different species of spiders and snakes. An AI-powered algorithm like Critterpedia requires hundreds of thousands of images to become accurate in its assessments, so CSIRO and Data 61 are hoping to get as many people as possible to download Critterpedia and upload pictures of spiders and snakes they might see in the wild.”

MakeUseOf: Google AR Adds 3D Insects to Its Search Results

MakeUseOf: Google AR Adds 3D Insects to Its Search Results. “Google AR search results are one of the coolest new things to come out of Google’s labs in recent months. After all, who doesn’t want to have a wide variety of animals blasted into their living room on command? Starting today, Google has made its augmented reality search results a bit more terrifying with the addition of 23 3D insects.”

Phys .org: How well do you know your bumblebees?

Phys .org: How well do you know your bumblebees?. “To mark Bees’ Needs Week, the X-Polli:Nation project launched the fun species identification tool which helps to distinguish bumblebee species in photos, in collaboration with Artificial Intelligence technologies. Users can use an interactive identification key, seek suggestions from automated image recognition and receive formative feedback through automatically generated texts. There are over 100 photos to practice on, organized in four difficulty levels.”

The Roanoke Star: 3D Imaging Expands Access to Rare Insect Collection

The Roanoke Star: 3D Imaging Expands Access to Rare Insect Collection. “The digital collection will include the digitized physical picture or 3D model of the insect and metadata including measurements, chemical compositions, ancient DNA information, and other biological or geographical information. This gives anyone with an Internet connection an opportunity to learn from the past and build on future policies and discoveries. Several scientifically valuable collections in the museum will be digitized, including specimens of federally endangered species and ecologically critical pollinators.”