It’s All About Insects

Retired entomologist and SRS volunteer Bobbe Fitzgibbon shows bessbug (Odontotaenius disjunctus) to Agmagic participant.Photo by U.S. Forest Service.

Representatives from the Southern Research Station (SRS) Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants unit recently hosted a forestry booth as part of “Demonstration Days at AgMagic” at the annual Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, Louisiana.  Children and adults visiting the booth were able to view and touch live insects, create insect pictures from stencils, and receive an activity sheet centering on the theme, “Decomposers in the Woods.” Participants could look at and handle bessbugs and other insects important in breaking down leaves and downed wood in forests.

AgMagic is an interactive, visually stimulating experience for children and their families held during fair hours. Guided tours were conducted for 2,000 third through sixth grader from 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. November 7-9. Agmagic features crops, forestry, wildlife, horticulture, entomology and other subjects.

In other news, the SRS Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants unit was recently recognized by the New Orleans Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium with a special dedication plaque for contributing two leafcutter ant (Atta texana) colonies to the Insectarium, which is the largest museum in North America devoted to insects and their relatives.

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