Two entomology talks were given at this year’s Alaska Invasive Species Conference in Fairbanks, Alaska on November 5-7. I learned from reading through both of the presentations, which are now available via the links below.
Alaskan Arthropods: Documenting a Growing Fauna
Derek Sikes, University of Alaska Museum and Matt Bowser, US Fish & Wildlife Service
The Green Alder Sawfly
Elizabeth Graham, USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection
See the second part of the article (URI below), which describes a forensic entomology experiment at North Pole High School where the maggot mass reached 120°F while the ambient temperature was 48°F.
The article, as part of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge‘s weekly Refuge Notebook series, appeared in the Peninsula Clarion and the Refuge’s website.
Peninsula Clarion version
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge version
Black widow (Latrodectus sp.) specimen KNWR:Ento:8993 in the collection of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
It appears that black widows travel to Alaska quite frequently.
In addition to the Alaska black widow records mentioned in the article, Joey Slowik wrote me that several people brought him black widows obtained from the Fairbanks area while he lived there, which I think would have been in the 2000s.
Today, Bruce King, retired fisheries biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, wrote to me that he has an adult black widow specimen found in grapes from the Soldotna Fred Meyer last November.
Related media reports
Juneau Empire, August 12, 2002: Black widow spider hitches a ride to Juneau
Peninsula Clarion, May 3, 2005: Lawn chair spins scary tale
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, April 19, 2013: Alaska girl finds wandering spider in banana bunch
Anchorage, November 16, 2008 (UAM:Ento:94908)
Kenai, September 27, 2013 (KNWR:Ento:8993)
The article appeared in the fall 2013 issue of the American Entomologist. The Entomological Society of America graciously granted us permission to post a copy of the article on our website, available at the URI below.
Furniss, M. M. 2013. Northernmost occurrence of bark beetles and their hosts in the Nearctic. Am. Entomol. 59: 144–149.
This Leaf Roller Pest Note, available via the link below, was posted on the IPM-L list on August 20.
Last week, the U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Region posted a news release on this season’s defoliation events (URI below).
Published June 26 in the journal Zootaxa, an unusual and undescribed genus and species of Axymyiidae known from a single specimen collected more than 50 years ago in Alaska is rediscovered in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington.