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A supergene is a collection of neighboring genes located on a chromosome that are inherited together due to close genetic linkage. Studying these unique genes is important to understanding the potential causes for differences among the social structure of fire ants, specifically for controlling the species and building upon the existing knowledge base. CAES News
A supergene is a collection of neighboring genes located on a chromosome that are inherited together due to close genetic linkage. Studying these unique genes is important to understanding the potential causes for differences among the social structure of fire ants, specifically for controlling the species and building upon the existing knowledge base.
Fire ant supergene
A unique study conducted by University of Georgia entomologists led to the discovery of a distinctive supergene in fire ant colonies that determines whether young queen ants will leave their birth colony to start their own new colony or if they will join one with multiple queens. Researchers also found that ants were more aggressive toward queens who don’t possess the supergene, causing colony workers to kill them. This critical finding opens the door to new pest control methods that may be more efficient in eradicating problematic fire ant colonies. 
Michael Toews, entomology professor and co-director of UGA's Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, and his graduate student team of Apurba Barman (foreground), Lauren Perez (background, left) and Sarah Hobby inspect sorghum plants near Tifton for signs of invasive sugarcane aphids. CAES News
Michael Toews, entomology professor and co-director of UGA's Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, and his graduate student team of Apurba Barman (foreground), Lauren Perez (background, left) and Sarah Hobby inspect sorghum plants near Tifton for signs of invasive sugarcane aphids.
Unwelcome Visitors
Earlier this year, Chuck Bargeron learned how to catch a Burmese python.
A large snail species that is native to South America, island apple snails mature in 60 to 80 days and can live in water and on land for more than three years. A single adult snail can produce up to 2,000 eggs every two weeks. CAES News
A large snail species that is native to South America, island apple snails mature in 60 to 80 days and can live in water and on land for more than three years. A single adult snail can produce up to 2,000 eggs every two weeks.
Island Apple Snails
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agent Jessica Warren is doing her part to knock down populations of invasive snails in Camden County.
A Joro spider found in Hoschton, Georgia in 2018. CAES News
A Joro spider found in Hoschton, Georgia in 2018.
Joro Spiders
If northeast Georgia yards seem a little extra spooky this Halloween season, there’s a good reason. They may have a little extra help from a new neighbor who is really into those cobweb decorations. 
The Asian longhorned tick, an invasive tick species recently identified in several Eastern U.S. states, has been documented as far south as North Carolina. CAES News
The Asian longhorned tick, an invasive tick species recently identified in several Eastern U.S. states, has been documented as far south as North Carolina.
Tick Smart
Georgia is already home to 22 species of ticks, but there may be another tiny bloodsucker hiding in the woods on your next hike.
Kudzu bugs overwintering in bark. CAES News
Kudzu bugs overwintering in bark.
Kudzu Bug
A tiny wasp — known as “Paratelenomus saccharalis” — is cutting down kudzu bug populations and Georgia soybean farmers’ need to treat for the pest, according to Michael Toews, a University of Georgia entomologist based on the UGA Tifton campus.
An Asian longhorned beetle chews through wood. CAES News
An Asian longhorned beetle chews through wood.
Invasive Species
Over the next 10 years, the number of cargo containers operating out of the Port of Savannah, Georgia, is expected to double. While additional cargo means increased revenue for the state, Chuck Bargeron, associate director of the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, is concerned it could also lead to the establishment of more invasive species.
Phillip Roberts, Extension entomologist with the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, searches a soybean plant at a field in Midville for kudzu bugs. CAES News
Phillip Roberts, Extension entomologist with the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, searches a soybean plant at a field in Midville for kudzu bugs.
Kudzu Bug Resistance
Kudzu bugs are not native to Georgia, but in the past seven years, they’ve made their homes in soybean fields across the southeastern U.S.
As part of the LepNet project, Joe McHugh, professor of entomology at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and curator of the arthropod collection at the Georgia Museum of Natural History, will help lead the effort to digitize millions of butterfly and moth specimens now locked away in museum collections across the nation. CAES News
As part of the LepNet project, Joe McHugh, professor of entomology at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and curator of the arthropod collection at the Georgia Museum of Natural History, will help lead the effort to digitize millions of butterfly and moth specimens now locked away in museum collections across the nation.
Museum Collection Digitized
Locked in museums across the world, millions of insect specimens tell the story of the world’s climatic shifts, animals on the move and changing fauna.