Kelly Tindall is the heavy duty entomologist/ scientist in our house. Kelly thinks it is
interesting to work with and/or sample insects that live underground. When I first met Kelly, I helped her take what seemed like all (but was only several truck loads) of the topsoil from a cooperator’s corn field because the roots had to go back to the lab to be rated for insect damage. The tonnage of roots and associated soils moved in the name of science was mind blowing! Of course, the only thing better (in Kelly’s mind) than working with underground insects, is if these insects could also be underwater.
Kelly has recently had a manuscript published that involves just that – an insect that lives under ground AND under water. Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus is a North American weevil that has become a major pest of rice world wide. Kelly and her team examined how the depth of rice flooding could influence numbers of L. oryzophilus in rice fields and could be part of an integrated pest management plan. Of course this paper represents tons of samples of roots (and their associated saturated soils) carefully dug from under water in research rice plots and lovingly washed to census weevil numbers. The amount of physical labor this manuscript represents is simply astounding!
Hooray for Kelly, John, Mike, and Donn! I salute your underwater – underground fortitude!
Tindall KV, Bernhardt JL, Stout MJ, Beighley DH. 2013. Effect of depth of flooding on the rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus, and yield of rice. Journal of Insect Science 13:62. Available online: http://www.insectscience.org/13.62