Sunday, June 26, 2011

Environmental Action Committee presents Amber Tripodi presenting on native bees and the decline of bees in Arkansas at 6 p.m. Monday at the Fayetteville Public Library

The Fayetteville Environmental Action Committee is hosting the following event...

Wildlife Habitat TM  Project Speaker Series Continues MONDAY NIGHT
Amber Tripodi will present "Native Bees and Bees' Decline" at the Fayetteville Public Library, Monday, June 27th from 6-7:30pm. 
She will share her work on bee conservation in Arkansas and discuss how homeowners can provide habitat for these important pollinators in our community.

Clearwing moth on Bee balm on June 26, 2011, at World Peace Wetland Prairie
Free and open to public.
Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Arkansas native clear-wing moth. Click on enlargement for even closer view.

Amber Tripodi

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Ph.D. Program with Dr. Szalanski
Bumble Bee Genetics


Department of Entomology
319 Agriculture Building
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
PHONE: 479.575.4214
FAX: 479.575.2452

Curriculum Vitae


  • M.S. Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado-Denver, 2009  
  • B.S. Biology, Entomology Minor, University of Arkansas, 2005



  • Szalanski, A.L., A.D. Tripodi, and J.W. Austin. Multiplex PCR diagnostics of the bed bug Cimex lectularius L. (Heteroptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology (accepted).
  • Magnus, R.M., A.D. Tripodi, and A.L. Szalanski. 2011. Mitochondrial DNA diversity of honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) from queen breeders in the United States. Journal of Apicultural Science (in press).
  • Tripodi, A.D and H. Sievering. 2010. The photosynthetic response of a high-altitude spruce forest to nitrogen amendments with implications for gross primary productivity. Tellus, Series B, 62: 59-68.
  • Etges, W.J. and A.D. Tripodi. 2008. Premating isolation is determined by larval rearing substrates in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis. VIII. Mating success mediated by epicuticular hydrocarbons within and between isolated populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21 (6): 1641-1652.
  • Tripodi, A.D ., J.W. Austin, A.L. Szalanski, J. McKern, M.K. Carroll, R.K. Saran, and M.T. Messenger. 2006 Phylogeography of Reticulitermes termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in California inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 99 (4): 697-706.


  • Tripodi, A.D. , R. Magnus, and A.L. Szalanski. 2010. Genetic diversity of bumble bees from central United States. Annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, San Diego, CA.
  • Tripodi, A ., R. Magnus, and A.L. Szalanski. 2010.  Genetic diversity of bumble bees in south central United States. International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy. State College, PA.
  • Tripodi, A., J. McKern, A.L. Szalanski, and J.W. Austin. 2005. Phylogeography of Reticulitermes termites from California. Annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • Tripodi, A.D. and Etges, W.J. 2005. Assessment of the Cuticular Hydrocarbons Involved in Mate-choice within and between Two Populations of Drosophila mojavensis. Annual Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference, Carbondale, IL. Honorable Mention, Population Biology and Ecology Poster Section. 
  • University of Arkansas, Doctoral Academy Fellowship, 2010-
  • Research Undergraduate Experience (REU) Grant, National Science Foundation, PI: William Etges, $4,200. 2004   
  • Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF),  SILO Advisory Council,Assessment of the Cuticular Hydrocarbons Involved in Mate-choice within and between Two Populations of D. mojavensis., Mentor: William Etges, $2,900. 2004


  • Lloyd O. and Ruby P. Warren Endowed Scholarship    $3,500    2002-2005
  • Brandon Burlsworth Memorial Scholarship     $5,000    2003-2004
  • Carl F. Hoffman Award    $50    2004
  • John and Trannye Odum White Scholarship    $700    2004-2005
  • Marion A. Steele Scholarship    $1,000    2004-2005
  • Vol Boatwright Scholarship    $1,250    2004-2005        
  • Biological Sciences Scholarship Award, Zoology     $100    2005


Researcher studies Arkansas bumble bee population

The number of bumble bees is declining worldwide, and one University of Arkansas researcher says she will determine if that’s the case in the Natural State.
Ph.D. student Amber Tripodi said Monday she hopes to determine how bumble bees are distributed throughout the state by sampling bumble bees in every county as part of a new study.
Tripodi said the last time county-level data was compiled was in a 1964 survey, but that her study will have more accurate coverage of the entire state.
Tripodi said she is looking for volunteers to help provide samples from every county.
She said she began collecting samples in May and has already received 100 bees from across the state.
Tripodi said establishing baseline populations will help determine how bee populations change over time.
This article was published April 25, 2011 at 6:22 p.m.

    Dogbane more plentiful than milkweed in Northwest Arkansas, so why keep it in your garden? Maybe in order to see some of the world's most beautiful beetles

    Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of Dogbane beetle. Click on enlargement for even closer view. Below please see like-minded blogger's post on same subject.

    Dogbane beetle aka Chrysochus auratus

    Guest Blogger: Dogbane for Dinner

    Our guest blogger for today is Anne McCormack. I have known Anne (or known of her) for more than 25 years now, first as a long-time editor of Nature Notes, the journal of the Webster Groves Nature Study Society, and more recently on a personal basis as I, myself, have followed in her editorial footsteps. Anne is an astute naturalist whose breadth of knowledge spans not only botany but also entomology and ornithology, all of which she write about in her own blog at Gardening with Binoculars.

    I planted Common Dogbane (Apocynum cannibinum) because some of my butterfly-watching friends reported numbers of juniper hairstreak butterflies on the patch of dogbane at Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood. I assumed incorrectly that dogbane was a host plant for hairstreaks, and believing it to be little more than caterpillar food, I placed it in a hot, dry, narrow strip along the driveway. Ragged, caterpillar-chewed leaves wouldn’t be noticed there, and I forgot about it. After a few seasons, it was still a modest-sized clump, but the leaves were in great shape. In fact, it had grown into an attractive bush of airy, elegant lime-green foliage, wine-red stems, and tiny white flowers. It’s quite a contrast to its relative, Common Milkweed, growing next to it, which looks as if it were designed by Dr. Seuss—even before it gets chewed to bits. At this point I decided it was time to look it up and see why it had failed to support hordes of munching caterpillars. As you have already guessed, gentle reader, the Juniper Hairstreak’s host plant is juniper, not dogbane, but good old Common Dogbane is a great nectar plant. Now that Dogbane and I understand each other better, I can appreciate the amount of traffic its tiny white blooms bring in, like this Peck’s Skipper butterfly. Ants, butterflies, tiny native bees, honeybees, and this mason wasp are busy there all day long. Along with several species of moth, it is the host plant for the Dogbane Beetle, which spends its larval stage devouring the roots and its adulthood dining on the leaves of Dogbane, and nothing but Dogbane. Dogbane Beetle can be confused with Japanese Beetle by beginners like myself, but unlike its fellow Coleopteran, Dogbane Beetle is harmless. That makes its iridescence all the more gorgeous, as shown in this wonderful photo by Courtnay Janiak. It’s a native insect that has shared a long evolutionary history with this under-appreciated native plant. American Indians valued it for its bark, which is tough but peels off in long strips. They plaited it for bowstrings and anything that called for twine; hence, its other common name, Indian Hemp. Don and Lillian Stokes, in their 2002 PBS show about bird watching, demonstrated how birds seek out the dry stems of this perennial, pulling off strips for nests in early spring. Nesting material can be hard to come by for birds in the tidy suburbs, so I don’t clean up the stems after frost. “Bane” in the name refers to the toxin cymarin in the plant’s leaves, though the plant would have to be covered in braunschweiger before my dog would be interested. Edgar Denison, in Missouri Wildflowers, translates the genus name Apocynum as “away dog.” The species name cannibinum refers to hemp. Its seedpods remind me of French green beans. These split at the end of the season, and the seeds fly away on fibers similar to milkweed seeds. Collect some and try this plant in your butterfly or native plant garden. Give it a spot where it’s easy to watch the colorful visitors.

    Dogbane beetle (Chrysochus auratus) - Copyright © Courtnay Janiak
    Copyright © Anne McCormack 2010
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    Birds, native plants, and everything about nature!

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Painted lady butterfly enjoys purple coneflower in Elleya Richardson Memorial Butterfly Garden on June 19, 2011, at World Peace Wetland Prairie

    Painted ladies on all continents except Australia and Antarctica
    Vanessa cardui caterpillars worldwide utilize up to 100 host plants.
    Please click on individual images to ENLARGE. A click on the enlargement enlarges another step.
    Vanessa cardui on Echinacea purpurea

    Vanessa cardui on Echinacea purpurea

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Diversity of insects using peace-circle garden of World Peace Wetland Prairie a privilege to witness on Jun 16, 2011

    Please click on individual images to ENLARGE. Click on enlarged image again for even larger view of image.

    Asclepias hirtella in bloom at World Peace Wetland Prairie at 8:38 p.m. June 16, 2011

    Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view. Click again on enlargement to view tall-green prairie milkweed even closer.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    World Peace Wetland Prairie one of four Fayetteville public nature sites being visited by graduate student doing species study for the Fayetteville Environmental Action Committee, reports EAC's habitat-committee chairman, Terri Lane

    Please click on image once to ENLARGE. Click on enlargement for even closer view.
    Monarch butterfly caterpillars on Asclepias tuberosa on June 8, 2011,  at World Peace Wetland Prairie
    As part of the Habitat Project, we are working on a "Species Watch" to begin gathering data related to the status and needs of various local species.  I will talk more about this tonight. 
    (EAC meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, 2011)
    I have coordinated with a doctoral student from the UofA, Amber Tripodi, who studies native bee's.  We gave her 4 locations throughout the city that represent, more or less, North, South, East, and West, and that serve as habitat hubs already.  Those are; the Paul Noland WWTP, Woolsey Wet Prairie, Lake Fayetteville Prairie Restoration Site, and the World Peace Wetland. 
    She is monitoring each site, every two weeks throughout the summer, and will be putting together a report of her findings.  She will also be our speaker series presenter on June 27th.
    FYI, Below is her first unofficial report.
    The habitat sites are fun, and I've been hitting Noland, Wet Woolsey, Lake Fayetteville and World Peace every two weeks. They are such different sites, so the bee report is across the board. Noland is my favorite for bees, so far, but Wet Woolsey and World Peace are awesome too. I have yet to find a single bumble bee at the Lake Fayetteville site, but there is little blooming there for now. I'm suspecting that they're all over at the buffet at the Botanic gardens. Still, I think it makes an interesting contrast to the other sites, and it'll be fun to see what pops up over the next couple of years! I have been IDing a few of the dynamic insects that I do find there, so you'll still have a few things to add to the species list. Last week I found a really pretty longhorn beetle I hadn't seen before: Purpuricenus humeralis. Neat! I've been keeping a list going for each site, but there's not a lot on it yet. Maybe by the end of this month.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    June 2, 2011, shortakes on public television in Fayetteville

    For larger view and up to full screen, please use You Tube logo at bottom right.